PRINCE SULTAN AIR BASE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia --
Several U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons, also known as Vipers, assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, are finding a new home in the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing.
This squadron of F-16s, known as the “world famous, highly-respected” Triple Nickel, is capable of close air support, air interdiction, and defensive and offensive counter-air in support of joint and coalition combat operations.
“Like the F-15E, the F-16 is versatile and can fly any combined air force component commander mission in this AOR,” said Col. Robert Raymond, 378th Expeditionary Operations Group commander.
“The Triple Nickel is the nation’s premier multi-role fighter squadron, with a reputation that garners respect among our allies and generates fear among our adversaries,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Anderson, 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron director of operations.
The 555th EFS will support Operation Inherent Resolve by delivering airpower throughout the area of responsibility while sustaining regional presence to promote peace through deterrence.
“Our nation’s enemies are keenly aware that the F-16 puts them in an unwinnable situation, as even the newest fighter pilots in the Triple Nickel have the proficiency to destroy each of their air and surface weapons systems,” Anderson said.
While the Triple Nickel has enjoyed several opportunities to visit PSAB on their current deployment, they have yet to take advantage of the unique environment that Saudi Arabia has to offer.
“While the squadron will continue to focus on combat and deterrence operations in the AOR, it will also take advantage of favorable coalition training conditions in the local area,” Anderson said. “The squadron’s first priority will be toward flying low level air-to-ground training, followed by air-to-air tactics.”
With its wide variety of capabilities, the F-16 is one of the most versatile aircraft; able to achieve the mission objectives of combatant commanders anywhere in the world.
The platform of 378th Air Expeditionary Wing grows daily. The mission and the people continue to develop Prince Sultan Air Base to be a premiere large base supporting its allies and deterring aggression in the region.