It must be an especially sad day to send off your first F-16 to be upgraded for longer life, knowing that someone else will reap the benefits. Airmen of Air Force Reserve Command’s 944th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Ariz., last week sent off the first of their 17 Vipers to get upgraded under the Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap) program. It won’t be coming back and the other 16 will follow. BRAC 2005 ordered the wing’s F-16s to be dispersed to other Air Force units.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.