— 113 Wing, D.C. Air National Guard —
The F-16 became the D.C. Air National Guard alert duty aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001.
For twelve years, this capable fighter has responded to more than 4,000 individual alert missions over the District of Columbia. The U.S. Air Force has flown the F-16 in every major conflict since its operational service date in 1980, including: Panama, the Gulf War,Operations Northern and Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Allied Force, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and Odyssey Dawn
. The F-16 is a single-engine, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter aircraft. Lightweightand nimble, the F-16 has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. The jet canpull nine G-force maneuvers and reach a maximum speed of more than Mach 2 (1,500 mph). The F-16 includes innovations such as a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, a side-mounted control stick, and reclined seat to reduce G-force effects. The aircraft displayed was the 8th F-16 to roll off the assembly line. It began life as ablock 1 F-16A, assigned to the world's first F-16 Squadron, the 16th Tactical Fighter TrainingSquadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on October 1, 1980. It was then reassigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, which was the world's first operational combat F-16 Fighter Squadron also at Hill AFB. The aircraft was subsequently upgraded to a Block 10 model went on to serve in operational combat units stationed around the world at locations such as NellisAFB, Nev., Torrejon Air Base, Spain, and finally Tucson ANG Base, Ariz. It was retired fromthe inventory in 1993. It was flown by numerous "Capital Guardians" during its time in serviceboth in training and operational roles. The F-16 on display, Tail No. 78-008, is shown with the paint and labeling of the 113 Wing, D.C. Air National Guard and is on loan from the U.S. Air Force Heritage Program.