Another OEF rotation: 18 South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets return from Afghanistan

Between Aug. 19 and 21, a total of 18 F-16CJs belonging to the 169th FW / 157th FS “Swamp Fox” of the South Carolina Air National Guard arrived in Morón, Spain on their return leg from Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The aircraft have been replaced in theatre by the Minnesota Air National Guard F-16CJs belonging to the 148th FW “Bulldogs” from Duluth International Airport that made a stopover in Spain on Aug. 10.

The three 6-ship flights respectively used callsigns “Mazda 31-36”, “Mazda 41-46” and “Mazda 01 -06” and were each supported by two aerial refuelers.

Once again The Aviationist’s contributor Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta was there and took the following picture on an arriving F-16.

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

Noteworthy, in the span of a month, two South Carolina Air National Guard pilots reached 4,000 hours in the F-16 while deployed  in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

About David Cenciotti 3705 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.