"The Tacos" is the nickname of the 150th Fighter Wing of the New Mexico Air National Guard, based at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico .
The New Mexico Air National Guard has flown F-80 Shooting Stars, the F-100 Super Sabre, the A-7D Corsair II, and now flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon with LANTIRN systems (Low Altitude Night Targeting and InfraRed Navigational system). The Tacos are currently capable of worldwide deployment and flew over Bosnia to support peacekeeping and over Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.
The New Mexico Air National Guard began as the 188th Fighter Bomber Squadron in 1947, flying Douglas B-26 Invader light bombers and P-51 Mustang fighters. In 1948 the unit's mission was changed to a fighter-interceptor squadron. In 1950 the 188th was called to active duty in Korea, and First Lieutenants Robert Lucas and Joseph Murray were killed while performing close air support missions. Two of its pilots, Captain Francis Williams and First Lieutenant Roberts Sands, were each credited with three MiG-15 kills. In 1957, the unit was designated the 150th Tactical Fighter Group, and in 1995 was re-named the 150th Fighter Wing. The group was activated from June 1968 until June 1969, and deployed to Tuy Hoa air base in Vietnam. Flying F-100 Super Sabres, the group flew 6000 sorties. Captain Michael Adams was killed in action, and Major Bobby Neeld and Captain Mitchell Lane were listed as missing in action.
Currently, in addition to their primary mission of air interdiction, the Tacos perform weapons evaluations missions (providing targets for testing missiles and air defense artillery) for the Army at White Sands Missle Range.
- Tacos website with many excellant photos: http://www.geocities.com/wrf149/Tacos.html
- F-16 with "Tacos" markings ( "NM" "150 DSE" & "The Tacos" on tail. Black & Yellow fin flash on top of tail indicates a non-LANTIRN equipped F-16): http://www.100megspopup.com/photo4phood/webaircraft/c02f16-33a.jpg
- Artist's rendering of "Tacos" refueling over New Mexico:http://www.codeonemagazine.com/artists/wong/wong_8.html