A close-up look at the 31FW F-16s performing strafing runs at Ft. Irwin National Training Cent

A detailed analysis of a 510FS training mission at Ft. Irwin.

On the afternoon of Feb. 24, The Aviationist’s contributor Eric Rosenwald photographed a flight of two USAF F-16C fighters as they practiced low-altitude strafe runs at Ft. Irwin, California (National Training Center).

They each completed at least 8 passes of a target airfield, periodically dropping to an altitude of less than 500 feet.

The F-16s belonged to the 510th Fighter Squadron of the 31st Fighter Wing, based at Aviano Air Base, Italy deployed to the U.S. to take part in the Red Flag 16-1 air combat exercise.

The infographic below provides some really interesting details about the mission conducted by the “Buzzards” over the range in California.

Ft Irwin Red Flag 2016 F-16-down

About David Cenciotti 4450 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.


    • “These days”? As long as the F-16 has been able to carry the AIM-120 that’s where they’ve carried them.

    • Standard for F-16s, but nobody else does it! An F-18 would likely break its wings if if made a CVN arrested landing with 350 lbs on each wingtip. Don’t think the Gripen does it either. The Rafale carries MICA vice AMRAAM, much lighter missile (100lb less). Some fighters don’t even have wingtip rails- lacking on F-15 & Eurofighter.

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