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An Imperial fighter wing from the Bellicose

A fighter wing, also referred to as an attack wing or flight wing, was an organizational unit of starfighters used in various navies or fleets.



A fighter wing,[1] also referred to as an attack wing[2] or flight wing,[3] was an organizational type of military unit of starfighters.[1] Varying navies and fleets deployed fighter wings.[4] After studying Imperial Military history, Eli Vanto came to know that in melee battles, a fighter wing or two could make the difference between victory and destruction.[5] The commanding officer of a fighter wing was typically designated as a wing commander.[6]

Alliance to Restore the Republic[]

The Alliance to Restore the Republic deployed fighter wings while active, which could be headquartered in a military base,[7] with its commanding officer known as a wing commander.[8] Large squadrons were also occasionally referred to as wings.[9]

Confederacy of Independent Systems[]

The Separatist Alliance's armed forces utilized fighter wings, which they designated as flight wings, during their history. Separatist Hyena-class Droid Bombers were deployed to flight wings throughout the galaxy after production was increased.[3]

First Order[]

The First Order used fighter wings in their armed forces. First Order Resurgent-class Star Destroyers were equipped with two fighter wings[10] that were composed of TIE/fo space superiority fighters, TIE/sf space superiority fighters,[11] and TIE/se Bombers.[12]

Galactic Empire[]

A full attack wing within the Galactic Empire consisted of six squadrons, which numbered to 72 ships—usually 48 TIE/ln space superiority starfighters, 12 TIE/sa bombers, and 12 TIE/in interceptors. Imperial capital ships carried varying numbers of fighter wings as part of their complement. Imperial-class Star Destroyers carried one full attack wing.[13] The Secutor-class Star Destroyer carried two fighter wings, supplementing its role as a carrier.[14] Imperial escort carriers had a complement of one fighter wing.[15]

When part of a ship's complement, the fighter wing fell under the command of the ship's commanding officer.[16] Fighter wings acted as part of a planetary defense force.[17] Additionally, Imperial fighter wings could act as independent military units that were headquartered on a starship, rather than serve solely as the ship's complement. These fighter wings were led by a colonel, and were supported by a major.[18] The leader of a fighter wing within the Empire was identified as a wing commander.[6]

Galactic Republic[]

The size of a fighter wing of the Galactic Republic varied, as one fighter wing could be composed of 120 starfighters[19] while four fighter wings could contain 400 starfighters. Venator-class Star Destroyers, had the ability to carry four full fighter wings.[20] The Maelstrom-class battle cruiser carried one fighter wing, which could contain up to 120 starfighters, though it also carried ninety-six.[19] Wing commanders served as the commanding officers of fighter wings.[21]

New Republic and Resistance[]

The Nebulon-C escort frigate used by the New Republic and the Resistance could carry one fighter wing.[22] Wing commander or wing leader was used to identify the commanding officers of fighter wings in the New Republic and the Resistance.[23] A New Republic fighter wing led by Commander Wyl Lark was stationed on the Star Destroyer Deliverance and consisted of Flare Squadron, Hail Squadron, and Wild Squadron.[24]

Vak Combine[]

The Vak Combine, a government within the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, utilized fighter wings. The military formation was known to the Chiss Ascendancy, another faction in the region.[25]


During the Clone Wars[]

By the start of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Separatist Alliance, fighter wings were deployed by both the Republic Navy and the Confederacy navy. Venator-class Star Destroyers were each equipped with four fighter wings, which they utilized throughout their service.[20] Early in the war, following the Battle of Christophsis, the Separatists witnessed the success of their Hyena-class bombers, resulting in an increase in production. Shortly afterwards, Hyena-class bombers appeared in Separatist flight wings across the galaxy.[3] During the Battle of Lola Sayu, Jedi Generals Adi Gallia and Kit Fisto served as Wing Commanders, and led starfighter forces of a Republic task force against the Separatist defense fleet that protected Lola Sayu.[21]

Concurrently with the Clone Wars, shortly prior to an engagement above Primea between the Chiss Ascendancy against the Vak Combine and the Lioaoin Regime, Chiss Admiral Ar'alani noted that several wings of Vak fighters were not as provocative as full-class warships and that they did not want to escalate the conflict.[25]

During the Imperial Era[]

During the Imperial Era, which saw the rise of rebellious activity and the Galactic Civil War, both the Galactic Empire[17] and the Rebel Alliance deployed fighter wings.[7] On Cymoon 1, scores of fighter wings protected the important Imperial Weapons Factory Alpha in concert with a full regiment and a system battle group in orbit. Due to the various number of ad hoc groups, however, efficacy was reduced due to communications breakdowns between the units.[17] Imperial Star Destroyers were each equipped with one fighter wing, and one fighter wing was stationed on the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Bellicose. The fighter wing served as the ship's complement, and included Beta Squadron. The entire fighter wing was lost due to the recklessness of the ship's commander, Tylux, though the Bellicose was soon destroyed as well.[16] During the Battle of Vrogas Vas, the Rebel Alliance Amber Wing was stationed at the Rebel Refueling Base and was annihilated by Darth Vader.[7] Many fighter wings served within Death Squadron, and participated in the Assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks.[26]

The 181st Imperial Fighter Wing was deployed by the Galactic Empire, and was known for the red stripes that adorned their fighters. This menacing display inspired other Imperial squadrons to adopt similar designs.[27] Another unit was the famed elite 204th Imperial Fighter Wing, also known as "Shadow Wing." The 204th was led by Colonel Shakara Nuress. It consisted of Squadron Two, Squadron Three, Squadron Four, Squadron Five, Squadron Six, and another squadron.[28] After the Battle of Endor, the New Republic hunted the 204th, as it was considered a deadly threat to Republic operations.[18]

During the New Republic Era[]

Following the Galactic Civil War during the New Republic Era and the Cold War, the New Republic utilized fighter wings,[1] with Commander Poe Dameron serving as a wing commander.[23] The Resistance, a private military force with roots to the New Republic and the dissolved Rebel Alliance,[10] also utilized the position of wing commander,[23] and one of its ships, the Anodyne, was equipped with one fighter wing.[22] Conversely, the First Order also deployed fighter wings, with two serving as the complement of their Resurgent-class Battlecruisers.[10]



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Notes and references[]