New Jersey-Based National Guard F-16s Deploy To Middle East


Air & Space Forces website reported yesterday (Oct. 24) that more U.S. Air Force F-16s have arrived at undisclosed bases in the Middle East. Fighting Falcons from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron—known as the Jersey Devils—have become the sixth fighter squadron to deploy to the region in response to concern over region-wide escalation of the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict.

According to the military news outlet, a senior USAF official told reporters on Monday, “What has happened in the last several days is efforts by Iran and Iran proxy forces to seek to escalate this conflict.” According to a press release from Air Forces Central (AFCENT), the addition of more multi-role fighters to the region will “provide flexible options to coalition leaders directing air operations throughout the Middle East, including contingency response capabilities and deterrence mission.”

The release also noted that the New Jersey contingent is the third squadron of F-16s AFCENT now operates, along with two A-10 squadrons and an F-15E squadron, as well as “several strategic airlift, aerial refueling, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms.”

AFCENT commander Lt. General Alexus G. Grynkewich said, “Air National Guard Airmen bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our mission in the Middle East. The arrival of these Airmen strengthens our ability to support our allied, coalition, and regional partners as we work together to enhance regional stability and security.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Judging from the administrations previous Afghanistan debacle, I worry that all these assets on the ground will also simply be “taken away” by a small group of determined opposition. Insurgents will see it as a gift, not a threat. Think of parking a lot of nice cars in south Chicago overnight.

    • I can’t decide if this is a future Babylon Bee article or actual headline. Sadly satire and reality have been blending a lot lately.

  2. I agree Arthur,

    Joe is finally getting his war as he wanted as shown to us in the last 3 years turning the world into turmoil. He’s just now moving more hardware to the insurgents so we Americans will lose another 80 billion.

    • The ‘bad boys’ already know all of this. This is nothing more than political posturing hoping to scare them. They are religious lunatics so … ain’t gonna work. Nothing short of dropping a MOAB on their heads will work. Hopefully, a few are ‘sleeping’ somewhere over there.