On the world map, the place translates into countries like Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, among others. All, and some others over there, have been hotbeds for conflict for decades and need a watchful eye to stop things from really going south.
This is why in the places it is allowed to, the U.S. Air Force conducts regular patrol flights. That is exactly what we see in the main photo of this piece, a snapshot captured at the beginning of May and recently released by the USAF.
Four F-16 Fighting Falcons are seen flying formation over the vast deserts of the area (exact location was not disclosed), with the angle of the shot and the closeness of the fighters making it seem like the two on the left are touching their wings.
The planes shown here are deployed with the 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, usually stationed at the Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. The unit got the fighters back in 1997, when it broke the mold and became a “combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days.”
The four planes were about and about, the military branch says, as a means to deliver airpower and show “the U.S. commitment to deterrence and regional stability.”