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Holloman plays host to the 309th FS
An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis after landing at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Dec. 7. The 309 FS deployed 18 F-16s and 190 supporting personnel to Holloman AFB to test infrastructure, range, and airspace capabilities to support the F-16 formal training unit, which will be moving to Holloman AFB. While here, the F-16s will fly 24 sorties per day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss / Released)
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Holloman plays host to the 309th FS

Posted 12/12/2012   Updated 12/12/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss
49th Wing Public Affairs

12/12/2012 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --  -- Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., is known for its unique airspace which has offered many advantages to testing new capabilities and training for future missions. That same uniqueness is one of the reasons that 18 F-16s from the 309th Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., are deployed here for training.

The 18 F-16s, along with 190 personnel, will be deployed here for training from Dec. 7 to14.

"The F-16 makes up the largest fighter fleet in the Air Force, and our training will help sustain fighter pilot production for the foreseeable future," said Col. Rodney Petithomme, 56th FW Operation Location-Alpha commander.

While at Holloman AFB, the F-16s will fly 24 sorties per day. The deployed aircraft and the personnel attached will be using Holloman AFB airspace resources and facilities to test Holloman's ability to meet the needs of a formal training unit which is scheduled to move to Holloman AFB.

"The F-16 formal training unit transfer to Holloman is a very complicated but also critical project," said Major Brian Macfarlane 56th FW Operation Location-Alpha. "This deployment will test airspace, training ranges, Holloman infrastructure, and the ability to support robust F-16 operations."

Along with testing base infrastructure, the pilots will be testing the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., airspace and Holloman AFB operations and completing instructor pilot upgrade and transition course sorties. While here they will also be testing employing precision and non-precision inert and live heavyweight munitions on the training ranges. They will validate the new Oscura Bombing Range scored strafe targets and range operatin procedures.

"Having the Luke F-16s here for a week gives us a great opportunity to train on the White Sands Missile Range well ahead of the actual aircraft movement," said Petithomme. "The F-16s will eventually be based here, training both pilots and maintainers. This training gives us the opportunity to find problems now, and gives us time to fix them before they arrive permanently."

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