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Spangdahlem Air Base F-16 reaches 10,000 flying hours

June 27, 2024 (by Lieven Dewitte) - On Jun. 24, 2024 the F-16C Block 50C, designated as tail number #91-0358, reached 10,000 flying hours during a sortie at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Benjamin White, 480th FS F-16 pilot, parks a F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter designated as tail number 0358 following a sortie in which the fighter reached 10,000 flying hours at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 24, 2024. [USAF photo by A1C Albert Morel]

The 10,000 flight hour milestone for tail number 0358 is a testament to the longevity of the F-16 aircraft model, which was first introduced to the Air Force’s aircraft fleet in 1979.

Spangdahlem Air Base plays a critical role in NATO's defense strategy, providing a strategic location for the rapid deployment of forces throughout Europe and beyond. Home to the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem's F-16s are pivotal for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, offering versatile and reliable combat capabilities. The F-16s at Spangdahlem are regularly engaged in training exercises, ensuring high readiness levels for various combat scenarios.

The base's strategic importance is underscored by its continuous modernization efforts, maintaining the F-16s' operational superiority and supporting the broader objectives of U.S. and allied forces in maintaining regional stability and security.

Noteworthy, tail number #91-0358 is not the first Spangdahlem F-16 to clock 10,000 flight hours. On Apr. 23, 2020, an F-16 with tail number #91-0343, assigned to Spangdahlem’s 480th Fighter Squadron, became the first block 50 F-16 in US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa and the second in the USAF to cross the 10,000 flight hours milestone.

The first F-16 to break that mark was tail number #90-0808 affectionately known as “BOB” at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Additional images:

USAF F-16C block 50 #90-0808 from the 14th FS is taxiing back in after a Green Flag sortie at Nellis AFB on August 13th, 2008. [Photo by Jason Hyatt]

Col. Jason Hokaj, 52nd FW vice commander, prepares for takeoff in F-16C block 50 #91-0343 at Spangdahlem AB on April 23rd, 2020. Later that day, Hokaj's aircraft passed the 10,000 flight hours milestone. [USAF photo by Alex Miller]
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