Tulsa F-16 Jets Move To Arkansas Temporarily

Tuesday, April 8th 2014, 6:02 pm
By: Richard Clark

Seven Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets from Tulsa's 138th Fighter Wing have moved temporarily to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The jets will operate from the 188th Fighter Wing's Ebbing Air National Guard Base until mid-June.

In addition to the seven F-16C Falcon aircraft, the Arkansas base will host 40 maintenance, operation and support personnel from Tulsa.

The 138th will conduct normal daily flight training operations and maintenance while in Fort Smith. The wing will also make use of the 188th's Razorback Range bombing range located at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, Arkansas.

Runway and taxiway construction at Tulsa International Airport is making it difficult for the 138th Fighter Wing to get enough flight hours.

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Since the 188th Fighter Wing is in the process of transitioning from A-10 ground attack jets to drones, it has only four A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthogs" left on the base and has room for the F-16s from Tulsa.

The 188th flew F-16s from 1988 until 2007 when it transitioned to A-10s, so it's used to the aircraft.

The 188th is transitioning from fighters to a mission focused on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and space-focused targeting.

Its last A-10s are slated to depart for Moody Air Force Base, Georgia in June.