The squadron was activated on July 5th, 2006 making it the third F-16I operator for the IDAF. Work to form the squadron began back in September of 2005 and by the end of the next month pilots were being trained with 119 squadron in preparation for active duty with the 'Orange Tail Knights.' At the time 119 squadron had already converted to the Sufa.
107 squadron was able to fly the F-16I before any were assigned as the two active Sufa squadrons loaned three jets each to the 'Orange Tail Knights.' This was in conjunction with the aircraft already arriving in April of 2006. When the squadron activated, it had three assigned, (#107, #803 and #808) plus the six borrowed from the other Sufa units. The F-16I was being delivered in two waves. The first batch of fifty jets were all numbered in 400 series and issued to 119 squadron and 253 squadron. The second batch consisting of fifty-two airframes were delivered with tail numbers in the 800 series.
IDFAF F-16D block 52 #858
with blanked out roundels and USAF markings applied on a test flight for Lockheed Martin at Fort Worth on June 18th, 2007. [Photo by Jonathan Derden]
The first batch of F-16Is for 107 squadron was augmented by August of 2006 with a batch of four more aircraft consisting of #811, #813, #823 and #826.
The F-16s of 107 squadron are equipped with the Rafael Litening C4 pod instead of the Litening II pod. It is also the first to operate the Rafael SPICE Precision Guided Munition on an F-16I.
Ultimately the timing of the activation of this squadron found itself in a position of combat immediately. Just a week after becoming activated 107 squadron crew found itself fighting hostilities for Israel's Operation Just Reward. This involved bombing Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. Although the squadron was activated it had not reached full operational capability. Aircraft and crew were temporarily re-assigned to other fighting units. By mid August 2006, peace resumed and the 'Orange Tail Knights' returned to the work of making 107 squadron fully operational.
IDFAF F-16D block 52 #865
takes off for a test flight at from NAS
Fort Worth on August 2nd, 2007. [Photo by Keith Robinson