June 20, 2017


Welcome to the Desert Thunder Squadron!

It is my extreme honor to welcome you to what will be the start of a rich and fruitful relationship with the men and women at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base – an opportunity that few others get to experience.

Thank you for taking the time to invest yourself in the Desert Thunder Squadron. As you begin to interact with the Airmen and your fellow squadron, I am confident that you will not only take on a deeper appreciation of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, but you will also learn a great deal about the logistics of operating the 355th Wing. As a result of your experience, you will become a strong advocate of the base with your colleagues and the community in which you live.

I sincerely hope that you take full advantage of this rare opportunity and get involved with the Desert Thunder Squadron, and not only participate in their activities, but invite them into your world as well.

I want to make myself available to you at any time to answer questions, bridge any gaps you may experience, and to absorb your feedback as we continually strive to make the Desert Thunder Squadron even better.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me!


Mike Grassinger

Commander, Desert Thunder Squadron

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!