The US Air Force has received two new F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter aircraft at Dannelly Field Air National Guard Base in Alabama.
The planes serve as the first F-16s of the 354th Fighter Wing and will be stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.
More F-16s will be delivered throughout the year to replace the existing “red team” fighters assigned under the unit’s 18th Aggressor Squadron.
“The Air Force is using a great opportunity to recapitalize investments made by the National Guard and upgrade the capabilities of the current Aggressor fleet,” 354th Operations Group Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Chad Richards stated.
“This is going to provide more capability and realism so that the aircraft and the pilots that are being trained here in the [Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex] can have a better adversary and they can train to a higher quality threat.”
Advanced Training With F-16 Aggressors in Alaska
The latest F-16s feature upgraded avionics to simulate realistic, advanced flight training, according to the air force.
The capabilities of the modernized F-16s will be utilized at Eielson AFB’s 75,000-square-mile (190,000 square kilometers) training range to practice advanced airpower operations.
“The updated aircraft are going to amplify their efforts and produce even more valuable training to all of our partners and allies,” Richards explained.
“We’re able to offer unparalleled training, both to the United States Air Force, our joint partners, as well as many partner nations across the Pacific. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Aggressors get to do with them and how we make our Air Force stronger.”