F-16 With Special Tail Celebrates 80th Anniversary Of The “Buzzards”

F-16 Buzzards


F-16 Buzzards
The F-16CM #89-2030 of the 510th FS touchdown at Aviano AB on Mar. 20, 2023. (Picture credit score: Claudio Tramontin)

The F-16 with the brand new special-colored tail has flown for the primary time from Aviano Air Base.

The 510th Fighter Squadron of the thirty first Fighter Wing, based mostly at Aviano AB, Italy, has a brand new flagship plane: the F-16CM #89-2030 sports activities a brand new particular tail that celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the “Buzzards”. The plane flew for the primary time with the brand new livery for an area sortie on Mar. 20, 2023.

The tail is adorned with motto (“Buzzards rule”), colours (purple and black) and mascot of the unit (Buzz), together with the textual content “510th FS” and “est. 1943”. Apparently, the particular tail additionally options different components which can be a part of the unit’s emblem, because the three lightning bolts and the globe, that indicate the potential of highly effective assaults worldwide.

Presently flying air and house management and drive utility roles of counterair, strategic assault, and counterland together with interdiction and close-air help with 21 F-16CMs, the 510th Fighter Squadron was initially shaped because the 625th Bombardment Squadron (Dive), 405th Bombardment Group, at Drew Subject, Fla., in 1943, flying the Douglas A-24 Banshee. On Aug. 15, 1943, the 625th was renamed the 510th Fighter-Bomber Squadron.

All through its historical past, the squadron has operated from Walterboro Military Air Subject, South Carolina, Christchurch, England, Picauville and St Dizier, France; Ophoven, Belgium; Kitzingen, Germany, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey; Godman AFB, Ky; Langley AFB, Va.; Clark AB, Philippines; England AFB, La.; Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam; RAF Bentwaters, England; Spangdahlem AB, Germany; and at last, from 1994, Aviano Air Base.

Since 1943, the 510th has flown the A–24 (1943); P–39 (1943); P–47 (1943–1945); F–84 (1953–1956); F–100 (1956–1958); F–100 (1959–1969); A–10 (1979–1994) and the F-16 since 1994.

In response to the unit fact sheet, throughout 1993-1994, the 510th flew greater than 1,700 fight sorties from Aviano AB, Italy, in help of Operation Deny Flight. Within the skies over Bosnia-Herzegovina, the squadron turned the notorious “Bosnia Buzzards”.

The 510th was inactivated in April 1994 and reactivated at Aviano AB, Italy, on July 1, 1994 because the 510th FS “Bosnia Buzzards” flying the Basic Dynamics/Lockheed F-16CG Viper. The Bosnia Buzzards, throughout Operation Deliberate Drive, have been the primary F-16 Block 40 squadron to drop a Laser Guided Bomb. The unit was the primary to make use of Evening Imaginative and prescient Goggles in fight in an F-16 throughout Operation Deliberate Guard. The Bosnia Buzzards led the way in which by being one of many first F-16 models to turn into Ahead Air Controllers (FAC-A), and have been the primary to make use of as FAC-A’s in fight within the F-16.

In Operation Allied Force, the Buzzards flew extra fight missions than another F-16 squadron. Subsequently the “Balkan Buzzards” have expanded into an Expeditionary Air Drive, the worldwide “Fightin’ Buzzards” and have been the primary Aviano fighter squadron to deploy to Operation Southern Watch in June 2000 and to Operation Northern Watch in June and December of 2001. In September to December 2002, the Buzzards returned to Operation Southern Watch and dropped 136,508 kilos of ordinance over Iraq to incorporate the primary GBU-31A JDAM in F-16 CG fight historical past.

The 510th FS has carried out a number of deployments to Afghanistan and in, 2011, has additionally taken half within the Air War over Libya. Extra not too long ago, after the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 and later of Ukraine in 2022 the Buzzards have typically been concerned in operations over Japanese Europe, deploying to Poland and Romania, and supporting NATO enhanced Air Policing.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, battle, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Drive, a personal pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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