The 315th Fighter Squadron was activated at Mitchel Field, New York on 6 July 1942 and played a vital role in supporting allied forces during World War II. Flying the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, France and Germany, the 315th Fighter Squadron provided combat support targeting roads, bridges, supply depots and rail facilities as well as providing air combat patrols. The 315th Fighter Squadron returned home to the United States in 1945 after the conclusion of World War II where it found that its services were no longer required, and thus the Squadron was deactivated on 7 November 1945.
In the dawn of the 21st century, Air Force leadership sought ways to conserve resources while simultaneously guaranteeing effective mission-readiness of its Airmen; this led to the Community Basing concept wherein Active Duty Airman served side-by-side with their Reserve and National Guard counterparts. In November 2004, the Air Force Chief of Staff directed the reassignment of the first Active Duty Personnel to Burlington, Vermont to integrate with the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG). The first twelve Airmen arrived in July 2005 and by February 2006, the Secretary of the Air Force directed Air Combat Command (ACC) and the National Guard Bureau (NGB) to fully initiate the Community Basing Initiative across the Air Force.
On 9 January 2016, the 315th Fighter Squadron was officially reactivated in Burlington, Vermont. Today, it consists of more than 50 Active Duty Airmen from 14 Air Force Specialty Codes, who work alongside members of Vermont’s Air National Guard 158th Fighter Wing in the fields of operations, maintenance and logistics. The Community Basing Initiative has since grown to serve 23 operating locations and seven squadrons throughout the United States, allowing Airmen to share knowledge, experiences and resources as part of the “Total Force”.
Most recently, the 315th Fighter Squadron directly supported the Vermont Air National Guard as the 158th Fighter Wing transitioned from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the F-35 Lightning II. On 6 April 2019, after 33 years of flying, the VTANG sent off its final F-16’s in preparation for becoming the first National Guard Unit to host the F-35 Lightning II. On 19 September 2019, the 158th Fighter Wing received its first two F-35 Lightning II aircraft, transitioning into the next generation of aerial warfare.