October 27, 2005 (by Jon Sommerville) - While deployed to Balad AB, Iraq with the 332nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, an F-16C+ Fighting Falcon of the 111th FS surpassed its 6,000 flying-hour milestone.
USAF F-16C block 25 #84-1254 at Balad AB, Iraq with the 111th FS seen here taxiing following its mission on September 4th, 2005 where it reached the 6,000 flying-hour mark. It's the first F-16C model to reach this milestone and one of only three F-16 models to accomplish the feat. [USAF photo by SSgt. Chad Chisholm
Only three other F-16 models have reached the 6,000 flying-hour mark and this is the first F-16C+ model to reach this milestone.
The day the aircraft passed this milestone, it was piloted by Captain Mark "Fook" Youens during an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat mission on September 4th, 2005. The aircraft was #84-1254
and its proud crew chief was Staff Sgt. Andrew Brice. Both men are from the 147th Fighter Wing at Ellington Field, Texas.
Also an interesting side note to this aircrafts history is that the aircraft also flew in the first Desert Storm over Iraq
in 1991 with the 17th Tactical Fighter Squadron where it flew 38 combat missions.
The 111th Fighter Squadron has had the aircraft at Balad AB, Iraq in May 2005 and it has accrued more than 500 combat flying hours in support of OIF alone.