USAF deploys F-16 fighters to Saudi Arabia to strengthen air defense, airstrike capabilities in the area

USAF deploys F16 Saudi Arabia
USAF F-16C Fighting Falcons lands at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A contingent of F-16C Fighting Falcons and support personnel from the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Prince Sultan Air Base, KSA, Oct. 10-11, 2020.

According to 378 AEW press release, the squadron, known by the nickname “Gamblers,” will play a key role in supporting the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing’s mission of sustaining and defending joint and partner forces by projecting combat airpower in support of theater plans and operations.

“The Gamblers are ready to patrol the skies, deliver precision airstrikes and train alongside regional partners to maximize capabilities in regards to mutual security concerns,” Gambler’s commander said.

The agile F-16 joins the US F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle combat aircraft already deployed at the base.

The presence of US troops at PSAB has grown significantly since summer 2019, when the US announced the deployment of forces in the area. The return of US forces to PSAB marks the strong decision by the US to strengthen troops in the Middle East in response to threats from Iran.

Prince Sultan Air Base presents a complicated target for Iran to strike and provides a strategic location for US troops, fighters and other assets. It also provides added security for Saudi Arabia, which requested US support following an Iranian drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the kingdom in September 2019.

Saudi Arabia is a decades-long American ally, a relationship based initially on America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil and later to fight terrorism in the region.

USAF deploys F16 Saudi Arabia

USAF deploys F16 Saudi Arabia

USAF deploys F16 Saudi Arabia

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: USAF

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