USA USN VFC 13 Fighting Falcon 640VFC-13 Fighting Saints transition to F-16

Fleet Composite Squadron (VFC) 13 Fighting Saints ('AF-xx') at Naval Air Station Fallon (NV) is in the process of fully transitioning from the F-5N Tiger II to the F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon.

The squadron change of command ceremony late November/early December 2022 was also used to officially introduce the Fighting Falcon into service with the Saints. F-16C with BuNo 860279 became the Commanders aircraft and is coded AF-13. Apart from showing colour on this fighter, which was previously operated by the 195th Fighter Squadron (AZ ANG) at Tucson/International Airport (AZ), is also adorned with the Have Glass V paint scheme.

VFC-13 will operate twelve F-16C Block 32 fighters and the unit's F-5N Tiger IIs will primarily be used to re-equip Fleet Composite Squadron (VFC) 204 River Rattlers ('AF-4xx') at Naval Air Station / Joint Reserve Base New Orleans (LA).

On 7 May 2021, Scramble Magazine reported on the acquisition of former USAF and Air National Guard F-16s to support adversary missions for the US Navy active fleet. According to official US Navy budget documents released in 2021, twenty single-seat F-16C Block 32 and six two-seat F-16D Block 25 Fighting Falcons are being transferred to the Navy.

Next to VFC-13, Fallon’s Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) will receive eight F-16C Block 32s and six F-16D Block 25s to replace its remaining legacy Hornets, which will be withdrawn from use.

Known VFC-13 F-16C Block 32 (all ex 195th FS AZ ANG) fighter aircraft are:

BuNo 860215/AF-322
BuNo 860239/AF-301
BuNo 860256
BuNo 860279/AF-13
BuNo 870317

Photo by US Navy

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