Saturday, December 3, 2022

U.S. Air Force deploys F-16 Fighting Falcons to Afghanistan

The U.S. Air Force has deployed F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2019.

U.S. Airmen and equipment assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and other supporting units out of Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., arrived at Bagram, according to a recent service news release.

Here as part of a scheduled rotation to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the F-16 Fighting Falcons will directly support the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s extensive mission.


The 79th FS replaces the 176th Fighter Squadron, a part of the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

“This turnover of F-16s allows us to continue delivering decisive airpower throughout the region,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. R. Scott Jobe, commander of the 455th AEW. “The support we provide allows NATO forces to focus on their training, advising and assisting missions, among everything else our assets bring to the fight. It’s good to see the torch pass from one great fighter squadron to another.”

The 455th AEW is one of two Air Force wings located within Afghanistan and supports both Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s Resolute Support mission. The airpower the wing provides ensures NATO forces can focus on their missions, while simultaneously targeting terrorist groups that wish harm upon the Afghan and American people.

Photo by 1st Lt. Brigitte Brantley
Photo by 1st Lt. Brigitte Brantley
Photo by 1st Lt. Brigitte Brantley

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.