Welcome to the v55th Fighter Squadron, 1st Air Force, Joint Task Force – 1

The virtual Fighting Fifty-Fifth Fighter Squadron is a club of military aviation enthusiasts who participate as part of Joint Task Force – 1 in the virtual skies of Digital Combat Simulator World. The v55th FS pilots are dedicated to the most realistic recreation of flight operations using the F-16C Block 50 Viper, participating in large scale operations as part of JTF-1 with other enthusiasts in a variety of other aircraft. The 55th FS shares the 1st Air Force of JTF-1 with the 480th FS also in the F-16. The 55th FS is primarily tasked with SEAD/DEAD operations for JTF-1, but performs in the full multi-role spectrum that the F-16 allows: including Recce, CAS, and Air Superiority operations.

Members of the 55th FS pride themselves on deep technical knowledge of the Viper’s systems as modeled in DCS and in real life; along with an understanding and practice of proper military operational practice in both general aviation and tactical doctrine and application. Members of the virtual squadron have built full simulation pits as well as a variety of other systems and solutions to enjoy their hobby – as well as spending time talking to real Viper Drivers and pursuing civil aviation licensing.

Members of the 55th FS come from all walks of life, including veterans of all four branches of the US Military and the RAF, actively working First Responders, those employed in Civil Aviation and guys who just love the Viper. Some members have logged decades as members of military flight crews, some hold private pilots licenses, while other members only arrived with an enjoyment of flight simulators.

Shooter Media

The 55th Fighter Squadron’s roots trace back to Aug. 9, 1917. Originally organized as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas, by November the squadron was deployed to Issoudun, France. The squadron was demobilized on March 16, 1919, following the war. The squadron was reactivated in November 1930, at Mather Field, Calif., flying Boeing P-12 biplanes, later joined by DH-4 aircraft in 1931. The squadron moved several times in the next decade, flying the P-26, P-36 and finally the P-40 at Hamilton Field.

At the beginning of World War II, the 55th sent its people to units fighting overseas and continued to train aviators for squadrons in Europe and the Pacific. In May 1942, it was re-designated a fighter squadron and transitioned to the P-39 Aerocobra, operating from several locations in the United States before acquiring P-38 Lightnings.

The 55th was in the skies over Europe by August 1943, operating from Royal Air Force Wittering, England. The squadron flew 175 combat missions with the Lightning before acquiring the P-51 (F-6) Mustang in 1944. With the rest of the 20th Fighter Group, the 55th flew daily strafing, long-range-patrol and bomber-escort missions. In June, they provided air cover during the massive allied invasion at Normandy.

As the war progressed, the 55th performed escort and fighter-bomber missions supporting the Allied advance through Central Europe and the Rhineland. In December 1945, they took part in the Battle of the Bulge, escorting bombers to the battle area. The squadron’s 175th and last combat mission in the P-51 was flown in April 1945, the day after American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe River. The 55th was demobilized Oct. 18, 1945, after the war’s end, but was reactivated July 29, 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas, flying air power demonstrations and training operations in the P-51.

The 55th entered the jet age in February 1948, with the F-84G Thunderjet. In January 1950, it was redesignated the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron returned to England at RAF Wethersfield in June 1952. The squadron transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 and in 1958 was redesignated the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

The 55th moved with the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing to RAF Upper Heyford in June 1970. The next April, the 55th received its first F-111E Aardvark, becoming fully operational in November. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 55th participated in countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. exercises and operations, which directly contributed to containment of Soviet threats to Europe.

In January 1991, elements of the 55th deployed to Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. They flew more than 144 sorties, amassing 415 combat hours without a loss. These missions neutralized key facilities throughout northern Iraq and helped to liberate Kuwait and stabilize the region.

The squadron was inactivated in December 1993. It was transferred and reactivated on Jan. 1, 1994, to its present home, Shaw Air Force Base, flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In July 1996, the squadron transferred its aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and stood down.

In July 1997, the 55th made history when it stood up as a combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days. It has since made numerous deployments to Southwest Asia, continuing to contain the Iraqi threat. In the meantime, the squadron has earned awards and recognition, including the David C. Schilling Award in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Air Force Association Citation of Honor.

In the summer of 2000, the 55th deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Northern Watch. It followed that deployment with Operation Southern Watch in the fall of 2001, and in the winter of 2002, deployed again in support of ONW. The 55th flew in the last mission for ONW before the operation officially ended in March 2003. Deployed aircraft and personnel in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, 2008-2010.

The v55th FS has no affiliation to the real 55th Fighter Squadron. History provided by the Shaw AFB PAO, images courtesy USAF & Wikipedia. With exception of the F105, all images are of 55th FS aircraft.

Join the 55th FS & JTF-1


The v55th FS is a club of military aviation enthusiasts dedicated to the most realistic re-creation of military aviation operations in the F-16C Bl50 Viper in DCS World.

This means we fly strictly adherent to Standard Operating Procedures, correct departures and approaches by plate, and have high expectations of pilot ability in the F-16. Member pilots are expected to already know how to operate the F-16 in DCS as well as show regular competency. We don’t just say this – we mean it.

Interested candidates must meet the following criteria:

1) Be 21 Years of Age.

2) Required: F-16C Bl50 DCS Module, NTTR, PG & Syria Maps; as well as Discord & Open Beta installed. JTF-1 & 55th FS uses DCS Open Beta for all activity.

3) Be capable of cold starting the F-16, understanding the different levels of INS alignment, be able to properly configure Datalink, IFF settings & UHF/VHF radios as needed (JTF-1 uses a standard Com Ladder which is pre-loaded into the jet, but changes happen). These are examples of things you need to know.

4) Be able to read and understand the Squadron’s SOP and execute proper taxi, radio, take off and in flight procedures.

5) Know the Viper – as mentioned in 3 & 4 above, you’ll need to know how to fly the F-16 already. We understand if you’re rusty on Mode 4 IFF configuration or are new to reading Jepesen Plates.

6) Brevity & English language proficiency is required – the squadron and the rest of JTF-1 communicate strictly via UHF/VHF radio during flight operations.

7) Dedication: JTF-1 requires two (2) event participation’s per month by rule, however the 55th requires far more regular participation. You cannot fly the F-16 at the level demanded by this group if you are only flying twice a month. Plan to attend weekly training nights (Tuesday) as well as at least 2 sanctioned operational flight nights (Sundays) per month. You’ll find your peers fly multiple times per week and especially as a new member expect a weekly individual flight with your assigned IP. We understand real life happens too.

This list is not all inclusive.

Enrollment Process

The first step in joining the incredible band of brothers the 55th is, understand what we are and are not. This is a club, and we connect beyond just online. We are dedicated to strict professionalism in simulation – but we are not a “milsim” group nor are we bound by some sort of rank structure or para-military dream.

The 55th, like the rest of JTF-1, are dedicated to this hobby and individual members work very hard to organize and execute training and mission nights. As a member you play a key role in the success or failure of the operation for 65-75 other pilots. For this reason alone we are very strict about measuring your ability to fly with us. As a “Shooter” you represent every member of the squadron in your performance, which is something we care very much about.

Members enjoy an assigned F-16 from the real roster of F-16’s assigned to the real 55th FS. Sign off and your name will be stenciled in on the canopy rail. This also means our membership is capped to the real number of assigned pilots. While we generally fly around the clock as a group, official flight nights are based on EST timezone. Those looking to fly more European times should look to the JTF-1’s European Squadron the 480th which also flies F-16s.

To Join the 55th make your way to the JTF-1 Discord channel where you’ll be directed to the squadron’s recruiting channel. From there you’ll be interviewed by the IPs and CO.

Following the interview you’ll be added to the list of JTF-1 Prospects and the 55th Fighter Squadron roster in prospect status. We’ll also work with you to get SRS, OVGME and the JTF-1 Mod Pack installed.

You’ll need to pass an initial check ride to determine suitability and from there you’ll be assigned an individual IP who will directly work with you to get you through sign off. Understand this will be drinking from a fire hose.

You don’t have to know everything, we have a training curriculum and we fly it routinely. If you’re not sure how qualified you are, ask.

JTF-1 Discord