The history of the F-16 within the 16th sqn was very short. As was the history of the squadron itself actually as it directly related. Activated in 2005 to receive the brand-new F-16E/F block 60’s that came off the Lockheed production line in Fort Worth. The United Arab Emirates is the only Nation to operation the F-16E/F variant. The first aircraft began to arrive the same year the squadron activated. Because F-16 flight training mainly took place in the US with the 148th FS input into the squadron was very slow at first, but began to pick up during 2006. By that time it was already decided that the F-16 squadrons would be numbered in sequence starting from the 1st sqn onwards. The resident aircraft of the 1st sqn being Mirage 2000 and Hawk would be dispersed into other squadrons. This finally happened in May of 2007 with the 16th squadron in fact being renumbered to the 1st squadron.
UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3056
takes off during the Dubai Airshow in 2006. [Photo by Omer Khalid]