F-16 Squadron arrives, bolstering U.S. defense posture in the Middle East

  • Published
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) Public Affairs

The New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility with an additional F-16 Fighting Falcon squadron, bolstering U.S. posture to deter further aggression in the region.

The Atlantic City-based fighters, also known as the “Jersey Devils,” now aligned under 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central), provide flexible options to coalition leaders directing air operations throughout the Middle East, including contingency response capabilities and deterrence missions, while maintaining Operation INHERENT RESOLVE’s Defeat-ISIS mission.

“We are fortunate to have the 119th EFS join us in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.  Air National Guard Airmen bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our mission in the Middle East,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) and Combined Forces Air Component Command Commander.  “The arrival of these Airmen strengthens our ability to support our allied, coalition, and regional partners as we work together to enhance regional stability and security.”

As a highly maneuverable and agile platform, the F-16’s capabilities ensure U.S. and coalition forces can establish air superiority in contested airspace with its proven record in air-to-air combat and air-to-ground attack.

Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) currently operates three F-16 squadrons, two A-10 Thunderbolt II squadrons, and one F-15E Strike Eagle squadron alongside several strategic airlift, aerial refueling, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms.  

Imagery of operations and activities within the 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) area of responsibility is publicly available through the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/AFCENT.

For more information on U.S. Air Forces Central, please contact 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) Public Affairs via email at afcent.publicaffairs@afcent.af.mil.