As of January, President Barack Obama declared that combat in Afghanistan was over.
A unit of F-16 fighter pilots at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan was recently quoted as saying they’re basically doing the same thing they were last year — combat.
Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Fighter Squadron are still flying round-the-clock patrols, and they are still dropping bombs on the enemy. The airstrikes, which reached a 10-month high in October — are seen as vital to stopping insurgents from overrunning vulnerable areas around Read more
Last Wednesday, a fledgling F-16 pilot had reason to be thankful when he successfully ejected during a training mission out of Holloman AFB, New Mexico:
“The pilot successfully ejected and was transported to a local medical facility,” Holloman Director of Media Relations Arlan Ponder said. “He was part of a training mission…”
The First Lieutenant was likely an upgrading student, as the squadron at Holloman actually belongs to the primary F-16 training unit at Luke AFB, Arizona.
As is the normal routine, the Air Force will investigate the incident and report on it some months from now.
The NTSB released initial findings (full NTSB report here) regarding the July 7th midair between a US Air Force F-16 and a civilian Cessna 150.
The F-16 pilot was apparently on a single ship instrument sortie, practicing approaches first at Myrtle Beach, then at Charleston AFB. The Cessna took off from a local field and was not in contact with Air Traffic Control, and he was not required to be. ATC called out the (unknown) Cessna Read more
Capt William DuBois of Shaw AFB died in December when he crashed near a classified base. According to the recently released accident report, DuBois was apparently unaware he was descending to the ground until the last minute, when it was too late to recover. Read more
Update: An Associated Press article adds additional information, indicating the F-16 was single-ship, operating under ATC control practicing instrument approaches:
At the time of the collision, Maj. Johnson was flying solo, practicing instrument approaches to a military base and was communicating with Charleston air traffic controllers, according to Col. Stephen Jost, commander of the 20th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base.
Jost said he thought it was overcast at the time of the collision, but he was not aware of any weather-related problems.
A Shaw AFB-based F-16 collided with a civilian Cessna in South Carolina, resulting in the ejection of the F-16 pilot and the deaths of the two people on board the General Aviation aircraft. Using their Facebook page, the base announced: Read more
David Axe at the blog War is Boring reportedly obtained an Official Use Only report from an Edwards AFB Test Pilot decrying the inability of his F-35 to best the older F-16 it is supposedly intended to replace:
“The evaluation focused on the overall effectiveness of the aircraft in performing various specified maneuvers in a dynamic environment,” the F-35 tester wrote. “This consisted of traditional Basic Fighter Maneuvers in offensive, defensive and neutral setups at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 feet…”
“Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the pilot reported.
One potentially saving grace not explicitly described in the blog is the precise type of BFM the two were flying. The blog reported: Read more
An Iraqi fighter pilot was killed in Arizona while flying with an Air National Guard F-16 unit last week:
An F-16 Fighting Falcon flying with the 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard, crashed at about 8 p.m. June 24, five miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport, Arizona.
A single F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft that crashed Wednesday night in southern Arizona was being flown by an Iraqi pilot who has been training in the U.S. for four years, an official said Thursday.
The pilot was apparently Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan.
The US Air Force will reportedly ship perfectly good F-16s to the desert — and potentially slow down the F-35 program — if it is forced to keep the A-10 beyond the date it wants it retired:
The House Armed Services Committee inserted $683 million into the 2016 defense bill to stop the Air Force from retiring the A-10 Warthog.
However, Air Force leaders said the service will have to mothball F-16s and delay the deployment of the F-35 in response to the move by the committee.
The HASC logic basically says the Air Force needs the A-10 right now, as Read more