Thursday, November 14, 2013

Singaporean F-16D gains colourful tailflash to mark 20 years at Luke AFB

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee. Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image

Airmen from the United States' Air Force 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron painted this colourful artwork on the tail of a 425th Fighter Squadron F-16D fighter jet (S/N 96-5034) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Air Force partnering with Arizona's Luke Air Force Base and the 56th Fighter Wing in training fighter pilots. The 425th Fighter Squadron, also known as the Black Widows, was reactivated at Luke AFB in late 1992 and started training Republic of Singapore Air Force pilots on the F-16 soon after, initially using leased USAF F-16A/Bs before switching over to leased F-16C/Ds and finally transitioning over to the RSAF's own Block 52 F-16C/Ds when deliveries of the latter began in 1998.

The squadron is a mixed USAF-RSAF training squadron, and is one of several RSAF training detachments in the United States. The RSAF maintains several training detachments based overseas due to a lack of training areas at home, as well as monsoonal weather patterns over Singapore which frequently restricts training. Singapore operates 60 F-16C/Ds spread among 3 Singapore-based squadrons and the 425th FS at Luke AFB.

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