The Desert Thunder Squadron (DTS) is an Alumni Association of the Honorary Commanders of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson Arizona. Our mission is to continue our support and be a voice in the community with the knowledge gained as Honorary Commanders to support the men, women, families and mission of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. As Honorary Commanders we were connected to Squadrons, Groups or Detachments and we continue to engage with our designated Squadrons, Groups or Detachments. As members of the DTS, we now support the base as a whole with our personal and professional talents and resources and serve the DMAFB Airmen and Missions at a moment’s notice.
On September 23, 1927, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was formally dedicated in honor of Lieutenants Samuel H. Davis and Oscar Monthan, two Tucson aviators who died in separate plane crashes after World War I. Charles Lindbergh, who months earlier crossed the Atlantic in the “Spirit of St. Louis”, formally dedicated Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. This was a proud moment for our city of Tucson and the commitment to aviation. At that opening on September 23, 1927, Davis-Monthan Field became the largest municipal-owned airport in the nation. Our city’s continued commitment to the military and Davis-Monthan Air Force base began on October 6, 1927 when Staff Sergeant Dewey Simpson transferred the military aircraft refueling and service operations from the old municipal airport to the newly dedicated Davis-Monthan Field. At that time, only two military personnel were assigned to the field.
Today, DMAFB is made up of the 355th Wing, which is composed of four groups: the 355th Operations Group, the 355th Maintenance Group, the 355th Mission Support Group and the 355th Medical Group. Other units currently assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB are 12th AF Headquarters, 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, 55th Electronic Combat Group, 563rd Rescue Group, and the 162nd Arizona Air National Guard Alert Detachment. Other federal agencies using the base include the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Air Service Branch.
In 2012 Davis-Monthan AFB received the Commander-in-Chiefs’ Installation Excellence Award and was recognized as the best installation in the U. S. Air Force. In 2016, Davis-Monthan AFB was recognized as the 2016 ACC Commander-in-Chief’s Installation Excellence award recipient.
Davis-Monthan continues to be an economic driver for Tucson. There were approximately 7,547 military and 2,688 civilians employed on the base with a combined payroll of more than $579 million. There were an estimated 4,123 indirect jobs created with an approximate annual dollar value of over $184 million. The total economic impact of DM in FY2016 was approximately $1 billion.
Desert Thunder Squadron is honored to support these men, women, and families as they serve the United States Air Force!