November 4, 2009 (by MSgt. Richard B. Hodges) - The South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Fighter Wing was named the overall winner of Falcon Air Meet 2009, a three-nation F-16 Fighting Falcon competition, held here through to November 3rd.
HRH Prince Feisal Bin Al Hussein presents a Falcon Air Meet 2009 award on November 3rd, 2009, to Col. Mike Hudson, commander of the SCANG's 169th OG based at McEntire JNGB. The unit represented the United States in the three-nation F-16 competition at Mwaffaq Salti AB. [USAF photo by TSgt. Caycee Cook]
The South Carolina team, which represented the U. S. Air Force's Central Command and the U.S., won three of the four main events as well as the Top Overall Maintenance Award and the Top Overall Competition Award. Other nations competing in the annual event were Jordan
"I could not be prouder of what the South Carolina Air National Guard accomplished here at this year's Falcon Air Meet," said Col. Michael Hudson, commander of the 169th Operations Group based at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.
This is the first time since the Falcon Air Meet began in 2006 that an Air National Guard team has been selected to represent the United States at the competition.
"Everyone worked very hard for a long time to prepare for this competition and the results show that they accomplished what they came to do," Colonel Hudson said. "We want to thank the Jordanians for their gracious hospitality. It was very helpful to train with and engage in friendly competition with our friends from Jordan and Belgium. We hope to return soon to Jordan for a future Falcon Air Meet."
The mission of the Falcon Air Meet is to train through friendly competition with the air forces of the U.S., Middle East nations and other F-16 users from around the world.
The meet was inspired by Prince Feisal Bin Al Hussein and first organized in 2006. A main goal of the competition is the improvement of the relationship of Jordan with its partners and the promotion of stability in the region.
"I want to thank everyone, both deployed and supporting back at home station, for their hard work and dedication in preparation for our competition in this year's Falcon Air Meet," said Col. Scott Williams, commander of the 169 Fighter Wing. "We all learned about each other's capability to support one another and fight side-by-side as coalition partners. We not only competed to bring out the best in each other, but we also shared maintenance and operations practices and gained a renewed understanding of our key allies."
Members of the Colorado Air National Guard served as "White Force" judges for the meet as they have done in all previous years. Colorado ANG
officials were instrumental in the formation of the first Falcon Air Meet in 2006. They were asked to participate as judges for the event, because of their state partnership with Jordan, a partnership formally established in 2004.
The six award categories announced at the closing ceremonies of the Falcon Air Meet 2009 were:
-- Large Force Employment (Air-to-Ground Competition): A two-part competition in which a flight of F-16s were tasked to drop inert Mark-82 500-pound bombs on a target at a precise time. Later, the jets uploaded live Mark-82 bombs and engaged a ground target. The judging parameters were airspeed, dive angle-of-attack, release altitude, accuracy (aim point) and time-on-target. Each F-16 carried two bombs. This event was won by the South Carolina ANG team, which scored 190 points of a possible 200.
-- Scramble Launch and Intercept Competition: This event required pilots and crew chiefs to work together to safely launch an alert aircraft in the fastest time possible and then for the pilot to conduct an intercept mission. In this close competition, only 10 points separated the first place South Carolina team and the second place Royal Jordanian Air Force team.
-- Formation Arrival Award: This event required a four-ship flight of F-16s to arrive over a designated target in a symmetrical formation. It was won by the Royal Jordanian Air Force with a perfect score of 100 points. The RJAF
pilots showed "good formation and action," and their arrival time over the target was precisely to the second. The South Carolina team was second with a score of 95.
-- Weapons Load Competition: Two air-to-air missiles were uploaded to an F-16 with the greatest speed, safety and reliability. This event also was won by South Carolina.
-- Top Overall Maintenance Award: This event, which was based on the overall results of the Scramble, Weapons Load and Sortie Generation, was won by the South Carolina team.
-- Top Overall Competition Award: As a result of having won four of the five competition categories, the South Carolina team was awarded the top overall award and named winner of the 2009 Falcon Air Meet. The awards were presented by His Royal Highness Prince Feisel Bin Al Hussein.