This program started as a direct result of the high air combat loss rate experienced in the Vietnam War. The air-to-air kill ratio had fallen from 10 to 1 in the Korean War to almost 1 to 1 at a low point of the Vietnam War. Reversing this trend highlighted the need for a professional adversary force conducting a program of intense dissimilar air combat training. This new training replaced pilots flying the same type aircraft in mock combat at their home bases, with Aggressor pilots and controllers flying and employing tactics that emulated the former Soviet Union and other potential adversaries.
Over the years the Aggressor Squadrons have flown the T-38, F-5, and currently F-16 aircraft. As a result of defense budget cuts, the last Aggressor squadron was deactivated in October 1990 and re-formed as the Adversary Tactics Division under the 414th Combat Training Squadron, or Red Flag.
After 12 years as the professional adversaries for Red Flag, Air Force demands on the Aggressors began to exceed the reduced charter. Due to expansion and increased operations, the 65th Aggressor Squadron was reactivated on Sept. 15, 2005.
The 65th Aggressor Squadron was deactivated in September 2014.