Activated: January 1, 1979 as instructor pilot training, aircrew academics, and flight training tactics.
Became 16 TFS on April 1, 1983 and remained a training squadron for training for combat operations
Inactivated on June 30, 1986
Redesignated 16 WS on January 24, 2003
Activated February 3, 2003
USAF F-16A block 5 #78-0066
of the 16th TFS is parked on the tarmac at Hill AFB
. [Photo by Mike Kopack]
On 1 January 1979, the 16th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, "First in the F-16", was relocated at Hill AFB, Utah as part of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. From 1 January 1979 through 31 March 1983 the 16 TFTS was the first RTU for the F-16 and acted as a worldwide RTU, training over 240 pilots in the F-16.
On 31 March 1983 the 16th closed its doors on the training era and on 1 April 1983, began the task of becoming operational under its redesignation as the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It was only fitting that as the world's first F-16 squadron that the 16 TFS receive the 1,000th F-16 to come off the General Dynamics assembly line on 22 July 1983. During the three years of operational tasking the squadron continued to train and upgrade its pilots to combat ready status and to maintain the capability to deploy worldwide on short notice and employ the F-16 in the conventional air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles.
The unit's preparedness to meet this tasking was demonstrated by 15 major CONUS deployments and one to Southwest Asia during this period. In addition the squadron was rated "excellent" during a Tactical Air Command Inspector General Management Effectiveness Inspection in October 1984 and "outstanding" during an Operational Readiness Inspection initial response tasking in May 1985. The 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron was deactivated on 28 June 1986, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. First in the F-16, First Out. (info thanks to James Ebmeyer)
USAF F-16A block 1 #78-0016
from the 16th TFTS is on display at the Dayton Air Fair on July 19th, 1980. [Photo by Gary Chambers]