May 21, 2007 (by Jon Somerville) - The Base Realignment and Closure Commission directed the 184th FS to transfer out its F-16s for the A-10 Thunderbolt II. As of now all the F-16s are gone, mostly being delivered to the 194th FS, the California ANG.
Special tail markings on USAF F-16C block 32 #86-0279 from the 184th FS spotted at Fort Smith on March 25th, 2006. [Photo by Ralph Duenas]
For several years the 184th has flown the F-16C block 32
. Before this the F-16A/B model was operated dating as far back as July 1, 1988 when the squadron formally accepted its first Viper.
Including duty as a front line fighter squadron, the 184th FS
had the roll of providing back up aircraft for the Thunderbirds, the USAF demonstration team. All this will change as the last F-16s flew out of Fort Smith Regional Airport when aircraft #86-0238
departed on April 28, 2007.
Even though the last F-16s departed on the 28th of April, the 184th FS officially became an A-10 squadron on April 14, 2007. The A-10 had been arriving for the past few months, new markings were applied and pilots and crew began training. Between October 2006 and May 2007 the 184th FS had ten pilots trained in the A-10 by the 47th FS.
The change is bittersweet as the 184th has flown the F-16 for so long, but consider themselves fortunate as so many other squadrons are deactivating.