F-16s Of The Florida “Makos” Make Stopover In Spain On Their Way To Deployment

One of the six F-16s arriving at NAS Rota on Dec. 28, 2020. (All images: David Parody)

The F-16s of the 93rd Fighter Squadron “Makos” are believed to be deploying to the CENTCOM area of operations.

On Dec. 28, 2020, six F-16s belonging to the 93rd FS “Makos” belonging to the 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, AFRC (Air Force Reserve Command), made a stopover at Naval Air Station Rota, Spain.

The aircraft, using radio callsigns TABOR61-66, were supported by GOLD11 (KC-10 registration 79-1710) and GOLD12 (KC-135R – 63-8040), which landed at Moron AB, Spain.

The serials of the 93rd FS “Makos” F-16s spotted landing at NAS Rota were: 87-0239, 87-0247, 87-0338, 88-0404 (as 482FW flagship), 88-0405 (as 93FS flagship) and 88-0410. Six more aircraft were supposed to deploy along the first section but were delayed by a technical issue.

87-0338 coming in for landing.

The final destination of the “Makos” is currently unknown but most probably in the Middle East: NAS Rota is often the preferred stopover for U.S. combat aircraft on their way to the Persian Gulf area.

The photos in this post were taken at NAS Rota by photographer and The Aviationist contributor David Parody

The last time the “Makos” deployed to Europe was in May 2019, when 12 F-16Cs operated from RAF Lakenheath for two weeks, to carry out DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) with the local-based F-15E Strike Eagles and the RAF Typhoons.



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.