2022: That's a wrap!

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Antonio Salfran
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

2022 was a year full of firsts and mission accomplishments for the 49th Wing and Team Holloman.

Always prioritizing the primary mission of building combat aircrew, the 49th Wing graduated 153 F-16 Viper pilots and 617 MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators. Each of the fighter and attack squadrons worked around the clock, providing ample training for the next generation of pilots and aircrew. Holloman’s F-16s flew 9,918 sorties while the Reapers accomplished 1,203 sorties.

On top of the main mission, Team Holloman accomplished several amazing mission sets. In January, Task Force Holloman concluded its support for Operation Allies Welcome, the largest humanitarian mission in the U.S. history. Task Force Holloman assisted nearly 7,100 Afghan guests and amassed 400 tons of donations while providing medical care, living and recreational facilities, security, and more to the thousands of relocated individuals.

After OAW concluded, the wing’s focus shifted to the upcoming airshow.

The 49th Wing rallied together to plan the largest Air Show in over eleven years at Holloman AFB. The Legacy of Liberty Air Show hosted more than 28,000 spectators from the local community and around the world. All attendees were able to get an up-close look at more than 40 static and live aircraft depicting the past, present and future of military aviation.

Following the Legacy of Liberty Airshow, the MQ-9 stepped into the summer spotlight as it debuted in the Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise, hosted by the U.S. Navy.

RIMPAC 2022 is the DoD and world’s largest maritime exercise, bringing together 26 nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Holloman instructor pilots, aircrew and maintainers from the 49th Wing led the charge on MQ-9 Reaper operations, displaying mission readiness and optimal technical expertise.

Every accomplishment and “first” was due to the Airmen and their families here.

“The mission cannot go on without our Airmen and their families,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Martin, 49th Wing command chief. “Our time here is dedicated to leading and developing Airmen who will carry on the legacy and heritage of the Air Force and the 49th Wing.”

To end the year with a bang, in December, Holloman AFB was chosen to be the 82nd site for the DoD STARBASE program. The program is a science, technology, engineering and math-based outreach initiative that aims to motivate school age students to explore STEM throughout their education.

“Our Airmen are incredible,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Spears, 49th Wing commander. “The Fightin’ 49ers showed just how amazing they are in 2022.  I am proud beyond measure to be a part of it, and we look forward to extending the 49th Wing’s legacy in 2023.”