Countless variants, from the initial F-16A/B to the most insane, unmanned QF-16 shown close to a decade ago, have come and went, and enough of these planes are still in service to be deployed by around 25 countries.
By July 2021, the last time the plane’s current maker, Lockheed Martin, updated us on the status of the fleet, the Falcons, also known as Vipers among their pilots, had flown for around 19.5 million hours, during 13 million sorties.
Those numbers probably include the miles covered last month by the F-16 we have featured as the main pic of this piece (click main photo to enlarge). This particular plane, belonging to the U.S. Air Force 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, is seen here taking off from the Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 base in Rionegro, Colombia.
With some editing help from the Air Force, the airplane sure seems to be giving us a taste of the blistering speed it is capable of once in the air, blurring everything around it and becoming a perfect fit for that section of ours that hosts all sorts of military wonders, Photo of the Day.
The plane, alongside other military units in the region, including personnel from the Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, was part of the Relampago VI exercise that took place in mid-July.
American forces were in Colombia for the exercise to provide “rapid integration into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions,“ according to the USAF.