VFC-13 Fighting Saints at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, NV, is in the process of fully transitioning from the F-5N Tiger II to the F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon.
Taken during the change of command of Fleet Composite Squadron (VFC) 13 Fighting Saints that took place in late November/early December 2022, the picture in this post was used to officially introduce the F-16 Fighting Falcon into service with the unit.
Actually VFC-13 (‘AF-xx’) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, NV, is in the process of fully transitioning from the F-5N Tiger II to the F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon.
According to Scramble Magazine, the Viper featured in the picture is F-16C BuNo 860279. The aircraft became the Commander’s 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 is tasked to provide the highest quality adversary training for regular Navy fleet and replacement squadrons and air wings, reserve fighter and attack squadrons, US Air Force and US Marine Corps units.
As the photo in this post shows, to better represent the enemy aircraft that are called to represent in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) sessions, the Fighting Saints’ aircraft are painted in a variety of colorful paint schemes.
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, that currently flies the F/A-18 legacy Hornet.
As already reported the US Navy started to receive F-16 Vipers retired by the US Air Force and US Air National Guard as part of the plan to increase its adversary air capabilities. The US Navy is set to receive a total of 20 single-seat Block 32 F-16Cs and 6 two-seat Block 25 F-16Ds.
Next to the Saints, 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will receive eight F-16C Block 32s and six F-16D Block 25s to replace its remaining legacy Hornets, which will be withdrawn from use.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy