Thursday, April 6, 2017

U.S. Air Force F-16 Makos In Greece

The U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Makos go to Greece and participate in INIOHOS-17, a Hellenic air force-led exercise with Air Forces from Greece, Israel, and Italy at Andravida AB, Greece from March 27 - April 6, 2017. Unit - 93rd Fighter Squadron, 482nd Fighter Wing.

USAF Air Force Reserve 93rd FS Commanding Officer's F-16C block 30 
#86323 carrying 2x AMRAAM, 2x Sidewinder, 2x GBU-12, and Litening pod. [USAF photo by MSgt. Joe Cupido]

In November of 1989 the 93rd Fighter Squadron began conversion from the F-4D to the F-16A/B. Homestead AFB is only 96 miles away from Cuba, making it a strategic location. On February 1st, 1992 the squadron changed designation from the 93rd Tactical Fighter Squadron to the 93rd Fighter Squadron.
In August of 1992, Homestead AFB was hammered by one of the worst storms ever to hit the United States in recent times. Homestead was devastated, but most of the aircraft had been evacuated. After the storm President Bush visited the area and promised it would be rebuilt, however the three active duty squadrons never returned just leaving the 93rd FS a USAFRes unit. While Homestead AFB was being rebuilt only for the 93rd FS, they were temporary based at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio from September to December 1992. Still waiting for repair work to be carried out the 93rd FS then moved to MacDill AFB, Florida for the time period of February 1993 to March 1994.
In 1995 the 93rd Fighter Squadron gave up its block 15's for the block 25/32. Most of the block 15's were retired to AMARC but some ended up with the 162nd FW in Arizona. Most of the units F-16s were block 32's but did fly three block 25's.

On October 23rd, 1999 Major Michael Lee of the 93rd FS won the Joe Bill Dryden Semper Viper Award for outstanding airmanship. Major Lee was flight lead in a two-aircraft flight patrolling the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. Near the beginning of the four-hour vulnerability period, two surface-to-air missiles were launched at coalition aircraft. Throughout the flight, aircraft received numerous radar-warning indications of antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile threats. Lee performed inertial navigation system updates and aggressively positioned his flight close to the target area. By taking these actions, he was in position to identify the target when he observed the impact of a standoff weapon on one of the site's three missile launchers. Although the key target-tracking radar had not been attacked, Lee took his flight into a lethal threat ring to destroy the second launcher with two laser-guided bombs
Starting in 1999 and for the next two years, the 93rd FS started to receive the Situational Awareness Data Lind (SADL), LITENING II Targeting Pod for their F-16C/D's.
On July 1st, 1999 the 93rd Fighter Squadron lost a pilot, Major Samuel D’Angelo, in a low level training mission near Sebring, Florida. Evidence supports that there was a bird strike to the canopy and pilot which resulted in the loss to F-16C #84-1268.
In 2001 the squadron made another conversion, this time giving up the P&W engine for the GE block 30 with a big mouth inlet.