Dressed To Kill
Photograph - Digital Photograph
This is a 310th Fighter Squadron Block 42 F-16CM getting ready to be armed for takeoff at Luke AFB, AZ. The 310th FS is the only squadron in the F-16 community that trains Forward Air Controller (Airborne), or FAC(A), pilots in the Air Force.
What are those you ask? A FAC(A) is responsible for getting bombs and bullets on target close to friendly troops. Due to the high chance that an errant bomb could kill friendly troops, these pilots are specifically trained in how to mitigate that risk while taking out the maximum number of enemy combatants.
The only other aircraft in the USAF inventory that performs this mission is the A-10C. Many of the strikes performed in Afghanistan and previously Iraq were done close to friendly troops, so having qualified pilots is a must.
For the shot, I traveled out to the arming area for over a week at night before I caught a rocket pod jet with a strobe flash on the tail. This one is armed with rockets and a GBU-12 laser guided bomb.
And the title? Well the TopHats standard radio response is "Dressed to Kill." Clever, huh?
September 1st, 2014
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