Springfield Graduates Last F-16 Class

The Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Fighter Wing in Springfield has closed the book on its F-16 training mission by graduating the final class of Dutch F-16 pilots from its initial qualification training course. The four Dutch pilots completed the nearly nine-month course earlier this month. Col. Mike Roberts, 178th FW commander, said the Oct. 9 graduation ceremony was “a happy event” for the Dutch pilots, but was also “sad in a lot of ways” since it marked “the last time” the wing would be flying F-16s. The wing is transitioning to three new missions: operating MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft; analyzing intelligence for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and, for the interim, repairing F-16 bulkheads. Dutch F-16 pilot training is moving back to the Arizona ANG’s 162nd FW in Tucson. (Springfield report by SSgt. Tina Maddock)