The 102nd Tactical Fighter Wing flew the F-84F Thunderstreak until June 1971, when a squadron of F-100D Supersabres was transferred directly from the conflict in Vietnam. The F-106 Delta Darts arrived on 28 Apr 1972 while the unit was still the 102nd Tactical Fighter Wing. On June 10, 1972, the unit officially became the 102nd Air Defense Wing, later changed to the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing. The 101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron was the flying unit within the Wing. Upon completion of the F-106 transition, the Wing commenced an air defense alert commitment on a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year basis.
On April 25, 1975, 102nd pilots Capt. Kenneth Peterson and 1st Lt. Arthur Bugbee were scrambled to intercept two Soviet TU 95 BEAR aircraft, 240 nautical miles off the Long Island coastline. Intercepts since that time have included everything from aircraft off course, additional intercepts of Soviet BEAR aircraft, and aircraft carrying illegal cargo.
In 1976, the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Group was deactivated with the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing assuming working command authority.
The 101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron remained as the F-106 equipped working squadron. Additionally, for federalization purposes, the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing became the controlling authority for the 177th and 125th Fighter Interceptor Groups (flying F-106 aircraft) located at Atlantic City, NJ, and Jacksonville, Fla. respectively, and also for the 107th and 147th Fighter Interceptor Groups (flying F-4C aircraft) at Niagara, N.Y., and Ellington ANG Base, Texas.
The 102nd has figured prominently in several William Tell worldwide weapons competitions. The 102nd took first place in the 1978 shoot off competition and along with Great Falls, Mont., represented the Air National Guard F-106 units in the actual competition at Tyndall AFB, Fla. That year the 102nd placed fourth in the overall F-106 category, its first try at the William Tell Apple. Again in 1980, a team of pilots and aircraft maintenance personnel from the 102nd competed for the title of number one F- 106 unit in North America. In this event, the 102nd placed second to a unit from Fresno, Calif.
In 1981, the 102nd participated in its first major air defense deployment to the Canadian Forces Base, Goose Bay, Labrador, for a six-day Fertile Brave exercise. In 1982, a Checkered Flag deployment took the Wing to Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, Nova Scotia. The initial deployments to periodically test operating from distant locations has grown to increased worldwide responsibilities for the Wing.
The 101st transitioned to the F-15 Eagles in Feb 1988. F-106A 57-2501 was the last F-106 to leave Otis. It was flown out on 9 Feb 1988 by LtCol Townsend.