U.S. Air Force Deployed F‑16C Fighting Falcons to Saudi Arabia

 In USA, Air, GCC, Forces & Capabilities

The U.S. Air Force said in a state­ment that a con­tin­gent of F‑16C Fighting Falcons and sup­port per­son­nel from the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

According to a state­ment, the squadron, known by the nick­name “Gamblers,” will play a key role in sup­port­ing the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing’s mis­sion of sus­tain­ing and defend­ing joint and part­ner forces by pro­ject­ing combat air­pow­er in sup­port of the­ater plans and oper­a­tions.

The F‑16 is a com­pact, multi-role fight­er air­craft. It is highly maneu­ver­able and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-sur­face attack. It pro­vides a rel­a­tive­ly low-cost, high-per­for­mance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.

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“This air­craft is a jack of all trades and can do lit­er­al­ly any­thing, which is why we are out here,” said a 77th EFS pilot. “You strap this jet on your back you’re basi­cal­ly on a rocket ship. I love doing this every day.”

While the F‑16 isn’t new to the Air Force, it’s pres­ence at PSAB is a first.

“This is the first time this unit has been out here at Prince Sultan Air Base and it’s the first time this base has had a multi-role air-to-air and air-to-ground plat­form,” said one of the deployed pilots.

Several fight­ers, their crews and sup­port per­son­nel with the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Generation Squadron bedded down at PSAB. The deployed Airmen are excit­ed to “deal in” down­range.

“What I most look for­ward to with coming to work every day is the pro­fes­sion­al­ism from my peers, lead­ers and sub­or­di­nates as well as our main­te­nance team,” the pilot said. “Not every­one real­izes how much goes into get­ting pilots in the air. It’s not just crew chiefs, but also fuels, muni­tions and many more Airmen.”

The beauty of Saudi Arabia was not lost on the fight­ers as they flew over the base for the first time.

“To see anoth­er side of the world is an awe­some expe­ri­ence,” one pilot added. “As we flew over this beau­ti­ful coun­try, it hit home. I’ve never been more proud to be a Gambler, to be in the Air Force and to be here.”

Armed with inten­sive pre­pared­ness, the Gambler’s com­man­der said the squadron is ready to “double down” at PSAB.

“The Gamblers are ready to patrol the skies, deliv­er pre­ci­sion airstrikes and train along­side region­al part­ners to max­i­mize capa­bil­i­ties in regards to mutual secu­ri­ty con­cerns,” the com­man­der said.

The addi­tion of fight­ers will help ful­fill PSAB’s vision: a robust and resilient warfight­ing plat­form, enabling Central Command and Air Forces Central Command to pre­serve oper­a­tional depth, stage joint forces, main­tain supply lines and project over­whelm­ing combat power.

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