September 22, 2009 (by 115 FW) - The 115th Fighter Wing launched 14 F-16 fighter jets early Tuesday morning as a part of the Wing's scheduled Air Expeditionary Force rotation that began last week when approximately 200 Airmen deployed to theater.
USAF F-16C block 30 #87-0262 from the 176th FS sits prepped for it's flight to Iraq on September 22nd, 2009. The 115th launched 14 F-16s early Tuesday morning as a part of the Wing's scheduled AEF rotation that began last week when approximately 200 Airmen deployed to theater. [USAF photo by SSgt. Ashley Bell]
The F-16s will fly to a stopover location in Europe for a pilot rest period before continuing to Iraq. It should be noted that take-off times are designed to correlate with specified arrival times at their destination.
The Airmen are expected to serve for approximately two months before being relieved by the Iowa Air National Guard from Des Moines. The 115th has previously deployed their aviation package in support of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom in December 2004 to Qatar, and June 2006 and January 2008 to Iraq.
Their mission is to support ground forces in Iraq with close air support and other combat capabilities directed by the combatant commander.