The F-16 Fighting Falcon was produced by General Dynamics who became Lockheed who then merged with Martin Marietta to become Lockheed Martin. The F-16 entered service in January 1979 as a multi-role jet fighter that evolved into an all-weather multi-role aircraft capable of sustaining 9-g turns. The F-16 is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain so the U.S. and 25 other countries added it to their inventory. The Fighting Falcon is referred to by its pilots as the “Viper” and will remain in USAF service until 2025.
On December 22, 1939 the 18th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) was constituted and over the years had several designation changes. In 2005 the USAF began a re-alignment and now known as the 18th FS it would trade its F-16 Block 40s for the 80th FS’s Block 30s. With the trade the 18th FS would now become the 18th AGRS (Aggressor Squadron) “Blue Foxes” based at Eielson AFB, Alaska. F-16C 86-0290 was one of the aircraft chosen to wear the new BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) splinter green and tan colors.