updated April 9
A South Carolina Air National Guard unit from the McEntire Joint Air Base deplayed to Afghanistan this weekend. The 169th Fighter Wing sent more than a dozen F-16s and nearly 500 personnel on a four month deployment.
The wing will provide air support for ground commanders in Afghanistan. It’s the unit’s largest deployment since Operation Desert Storm and the fourth major deployment of F-16s. Parts of the wing were last deployed to Iraq in 2010.
Officials says the unit called the Swamp Foxes fly the most advanced version of the F-16 in the Air Force arsenal. The 169th Fighter Wing flies both the F-16C and D-models, which can fly at up to twice the speed of sound.
Cargo jets will be flying out later this week as part of the deployment.
The unit has flown more than 600 combat missions since 2003.