Six F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and 93 support personnel left this northern Utah Air Force base Thursday for a two-week tour enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq.
The personnel are part of Hill's 419th Fighter Wing and will be stationed in Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait as part of Operation Southern Watch.The F-16s were expected to stay overnight at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in New York before leaving Friday morning for Moron Naval Air Station in Spain before moving on to Kuwait on Sun-day.
The pilots will be flying daily patrols over Iraq while carrying full weapons loads that can be used against air and ground targets.
Most of the 419th people and equipment is expected to be back in Utah by May 30, but the F-16s will not return until June 23. They will be left in Al Jaber for use by the 301st Fighter Wing out of Fort Worth, Texas.