The 34th FS was one of the first units within the USAF to receive the F-16. New block 1, 5 and 10 airframes came straight from the General Dynamics production line at Fort Worth starting in 1979. At first the squadron was tasked with an overall F-16 training duty. Pilots from the US, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Israel came to it to get their tactical skills on the F-16 on a higher level.
Later on the squadron was tasked with conventional air-to-ground and attack, although the first aircraft were in fact airframes that still had the small stabilizers. Since the importance of the squadron for this task, newer block 15 airframes came into the unit quite quickly. By 1982 the squadron was completely converted to the block 15 airframes. The 34th kept flying with these airframes in the same roll up until 1989. It was then that they started receiving the upgraded block 40 version of the F-16. With this newer version the squadron was able to conduct its missions with even greater accuracy and eventually added the night-time capability.
USAF F-16C block 40 #87-0354
from the 34th FS is spotted under a shelter at Hill AFB
on August 19th, 2006 with 34FS markings on the tail. [Photo by Duane Kaiser]
This night opreations came into being with the introduction of the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod to the inventory. The squadron started operating this pod in mid 1989 as one of the first USAF squadrons to deploy it in an operational environment. With tensions rising in the Middle East the squadron had to adopt this new weapon system very quickly and had to train in very different scenarios then previously flown in a couple of months time.
By 2010 the USAF decided to reduce the overall amount of F-16 units throughout the air force. Since there were three squadrons at Hill AFB it was decided to disband one of them and disperse the block 40 airframes to other units that were in need of them. The 34th FS was ultimately chosen to be disbanded and this finally happened on July 16th, 2010 ending an F-16 career spanning over 30 years.