USAF deploys F-16 Fighting Falcons to UAE

17 November 2020 (Last Updated November 17th, 2020 11:50)

US Air Force (USAF) has deployed the F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.

USAF deploys F-16 Fighting Falcons to UAE
A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron taxis on the flightline upon arrival at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. Credit: US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Zade Vadnais.

US Air Force (USAF) has deployed the F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.

The aircraft arrived at the Al Dhafra Air Base on 12 November.

The detachment of aircraft and its crew arrived at the airbase to increase the ability of US Air Forces Central to deter aggression and enhance security and stability in the area of responsibility of US Central Command.

The personnel and aircraft will integrate into the theatre air training, and joint, coalition and partnered missions.

This unit’s presence is claimed to highlight the USAF’s ability to deploy and employ forces in any part of the world at any time.

USAF 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander Lt Gen Greg Guillot said: “The deployment of the 480th Fighter Squadron demonstrates the US Air Force’s agility and CENTCOM’s commitment to allies and partners to bolster security and stability in the region.

“While deployed, the unit will conduct a wide range of missions, including combat operations and training with joint and regional partners, enhance the unit’s overall readiness and return to US European Command better prepared to support future operations.”

The last dynamic deployment of CENTCOM occurred in October last year, which involved detachment of USAF F-16s from Aviano Air Base in Italy.

Dynamic operations and force employment provide the capability to joint force commanders to deploy forces to mitigate threats.

In May last year, the USAF used the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time to conduct an airstrike targeting the terrorist organisation Islamic State’s (ISIS) assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq.