#1426 F-16CM Fighting Falcon

F-16CM Fighting Falcon
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£10.00 €11.35 $12.36
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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F-16CM Fighting Falcon
96-0080 '480FS'
480 FS, 52 FW
Spangdahlem AB, Germany
US - Air Force
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Description

Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1426 - 96-0080 480 'FS', F-16CM Fighting Falcon, 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. The 480th Fighter Squadron, the “Warhawks” was activated in 1957 at England Air Force Base, Louisiana as the 480 Fighter Bomber Squadron, flying the F-100 Super Saber. Over the next 2 decades, the squadron was assigned to Chaumont and Phalsbourg-Bourscheid, France and Holloman AFB, NM flying the F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100 Super Saber, and the F-4C Phantom II fighters. The Warhawks deployed to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, in February 1966 as part of USAF buildup in Southeast Asia and was engaged in combat operations mostly over North Vietnam, from 1966-1971. During this period, the squadron scored nine MiG kills, including the first MiG-21 kill of the Vietnam War, and received two Presidential Unit Citations. Also during the period a member of the 480TFS, Captain Lance Sijan, became the first Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism as a prisoner in North Vietnam. In 1969, the 480 TFS moved to Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam, then to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam in 1970. With the drawdown of American forces in South Vietnam, the 480th flew their last combat mission and the last combat sortie from Cam Ranh Bay, on 20 October 1971. The squadron deactivated in November 1971. The Warhawks were reactivated in 1976 as part of the 52 Tactical Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, flying the F-4D Phantom II, the F-4E and then the F-4G as part of the “Wild Weasel” Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) mission. In March 1987, the Warhawks began flying the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-16C, and during Gulf War I received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation for Valor. Cold War military reductions forced the 480 TFS into temporary retirement in 1994, but the Great Warhawk Nation was reactivated in 2010 as the 480 Fighter Squadron flying the F-16CM Block-50 Viper as part of the 52nd Fighter Wing as Spangdahlem. In January 2011, the Warhawks were the First In, participating in the opening night of Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya from Aviano AB, Italy. In April 2011, the 480th deployed to Balad AB, Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. They conducted simultaneous operations in both Libya and Iraq until returning from the Libyan skies in July. They were the Last Out in November that year when they returned from providing Close Air Support, Armed Overwatch, and Air Interdiction over Iraq. The Warhawks deployed once more in 2013. From April to December, the Warhawks operated out of Kandahar AB, Afghanistan, providing Close Air Support to ground commanders in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Finally, in April 2016, the Warhawks deployed to an Undisclosed Location in the Middle East to support Operation Inherent Resolve. For six months, the Warhawks provided necessary airpower to enable Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim land lost to ISIL forces in the previous years. Today, the Great Warhawk Nation is the only US Air Force SEAD squadron in Europe, and the Warhawks proudly carry on the Wild Weasel legacy and the tradition of “First In, Last Out!”

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