Conversion from the A-7D/K started in 1986 when the 152nd FS started to receive many older block 1, 5 and 10 airframes from other USAF units. The mission of the unit was to train combat-ready pilots for the Air National Guard (Replacement Training Unit or RTU). This mission remained after the conversion, but the older airframes were not quite suited to fulfill this mission. Therefore a number of block 15 airframes were introduced in the squadron after 1989 to be able to maintain a more modern training syllabus.
USAF F-16C block 42 #90-0716
from the 152nd FS flies over Tucson on July 9th, 2010. [USAF photo by MSgt. Jack Braden]
In 1992 the ANG Staff decided to modernize the training that the squadron was providing to ANG crews as well as regular USAF units or NATO F-16 pilots. Therefore more modern block 42 airframes were delivered to the squadron. This opened a lot of opportunities. This block is specifically designed for attack operations during day and nighttime. It uses the advanced LANTIRN pod and the squadron has been training other crews in the usage of these systems. The squadron is flying this block of F-16s for 20 years now (2012). In recent years these airframes have been further upgraded with the CCIP program to make it possible for them to reach 8,000 flying hours easily. A number of additions (like a new MMC, an advanced AIFF system, etc.) were added to these airframes to further modernize their operations and make it possible to adjust the training sequence to include these advanced electronics.