SOUTHWEST ASIA --
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 179th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron began arriving to the 407th Air Expeditionary Group April 13, 2018.
The 179th EFS consists of hundreds of Air National Guard members whose primary mission is to fly F-16 Fighting Falcons in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“The 179th EFS Bulldogs are excited to put all of our training to work and to meet the commander's objectives in our fight against ISIS,” said Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Beatrez, 179th EFS operations NCO in charge.
The F-16, also known as a Viper, is a combat, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attacks. Making it a perfect asset to assist in the 407th AEG’s mission of generating, executing and sustaining combat airpower.
“We train for a multitude of missions,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Aysta, 179th EFS commander. “We can give options to our commander and leadership with whatever missions they task us to do.”
While deployed the 179th EFS will deliver decisive air capabilities for United States Central Command, ally nations, and America.
“This is what we train to do day-in and day-out, so when we are asked to come and support our nation in CENTCOM we are excited to accomplish the mission,” Aysta said.
Deploying together as a whole squadron has its benefits to the mission, Beatrez said.
“We are a close knit family that look out for one another and operate as a well-oiled machine,” Beatrez said. “Deploying with this group of folks makes it a little easier leaving home and our loved ones behind.”
Just hours after arriving the 179th EFS was in place to support the 407th AEG and deliver full-spectrum air component capabilities such as close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, and defensive counter air capabilities.
The 179th EFS brings hundreds of years in experience to the fight with a team of well-trained Airmen, said Beatrez.
“From the youngest to the oldest, our Airmen are some of the best trained and experienced in the Air Force with a strong can-do attitude and always ready to take on any challenge,” Beatrez said.
Their goal is to execute every mission efficiently and effectively and bring everyone home safe, he added.
“We are excited to be here and we’ve trained hard for it,” Aysta said. “Our organization has a proud legacy and we hope to build on the Red Tails dynasty while we incorporate into this group.”