8th Fighter Squadron receives final 6-ship

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The 8th Fighter Squadron received its final six F-16 Fighting Falcons from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Sept. 21, 2017.

This completes the 8th Fighter Squadron arrival of aircraft here at Holloman.

The Air Force determined that Holloman fulfills its need to host F-16 Formal Training Unit squadrons. These squadrons will allow the Air Force to increase its fighter pilot production as part of an effort to remedy a critical fighter pilot shortage.

“Holloman Air Force Base, specifically, has been asked to take on an additional mission, which we now have over 82 F-16’s on the ramp, so we can start producing more fighter pilots for the combat Air Force,” said Col. Rusty Keen, 54th Fighter Group commander. “We are super excited to have this opportunity to continue building the future of airpower on a much larger scale at Holloman AFB.”

The Air Force assessment determined that transitioning Holloman to fill critical F-16 training should stabilize the F-16 training mission. It will also capitalize on the existing airspace and range complexes at Holloman.

“This is the ending of an era for the Hill F-16’s and the beginning of an era for us,” said Lt. Col. Mark Sletten, 8th Fighter Squadron commander. “These aircraft signify our newest mission and the dedication the 54th Fighter Group and the 8 FS have for maintaining the overall Air Force goal of air superiority.”