The 524th FS was the third and last squadron of the Canon based 27th Wing to receive F-16s. It was equipped with the F-16 together with its sister squadrons – the 522nd and 523rd. In the first place these were block 40 airframes received from various other units. The 524th was the first of the squadrons to receive the block 40 airframes which are optimised for close air support missions. These F-16s were the first to replace A-10 units in theatre. The first F-16s were received in May of 1995 with the final delivery taking place during 1996. In a ceremony held at Canon AFB on July 26th, 1996 the 524th FS officially converted from the F-111 to the F-16.
It was not long before the squadron was tasked to take up the demanding rotations in South East Asia. The first deployment already happened in 1998 for an Operation Southern Watch deployment.
USAF F-16C block 40 #90-0776
of the 524th FS visiting Tulsa, Oklahoma on February 24th, 2005. [Photo by Ralph Duenas]
The mission of the squadron remained fairly the same during its operational career. Because of the block 40 airframes the squadron was regularly tasked with missions in South East Asia. In BRAC 2005 it was decided to close down Canon AFB completely. Although this decision was reversed in the course of 2006, the decision to disband all the bases flying squadrons was kept and so the unit was disbanded in 2007. On August 31st, 2007 the last F-16departed the 524th FS and an inactivation ceremony was held ending 11 years of operations within the unit.