Armour Collection B11E220 USAF General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon Fighter - 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein AFB, Germany, 1986 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:48 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Even at the ripe old age of 20, the F-16 Falcon remains a fast and potent favorite among fighter pilots, and one of the best fighters in its class. Designed originally as a no-frills, single-engine "hot rod", the addition of improved radar and weaponry have made the Falcon a super, lightweight jet. Used mainly as a bomber, the Fighting Falcon can also turn-and-burn with unbridled fury when provoked. It is also one of the first operational fly-by-wire aircraft; its flight controls being electronically operated and computer controlled. A 20mm cannon, Maverick missiles, and laser-guided bombs make the F-16 a potent multi-role fighter. However, it's light weight, speed and agility make it the choice of the US Air Force's Thunderbirds aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:48 scale diecast replica of a F-16C Falcon assigned to the US Air Force's 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, then deployed to Ramstein AFB, Germany, in 1986.
Historical Account: "Vipers" - As part of Operation Creek Action, a command-wide effort to realign functions and streamline operations, USAFE transferred the 26 TRW from Ramstein to Zweibrucken Air Base, Germany, and the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) from Zweibrucken back to Ramstein on January 31st, 1973.
These moves were made without the transfer of personnel or equipment with the exception of the 38 TRS, 7 SOS and 81 TFS. The 38th remained under the control of the 26 TRW by moving to Zweibrucken with the wing and the 7th Special Operations Squadron was transferred to Rhein-Main Air Base.
The 526th TFS remained at Ramstein AB, and it was reassigned to the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying F-4Es. Its tail code was "RS".
On August 14th, 1976, the Strategic Air Command 306th Strategic Wing was activated at Ramstein with a KC-135 air refueling and a RC-135 reconnaissance mission. The 306th also functioned as the focal point for all SAC operations in Europe, and as liaison between SAC and USAFE. The wing moved to RAF Mildenhall, England on July 1st, 1978.
On September 22nd, 1977, the 526th TFS and the newly-activated 512th TFS were was redesignated the 86th Operations Group. The 512th was activated when F-4Es from Bitburg Air Base where transferred to Ramstein after the F-15As arrived in USAFE.
With these changes, the operational squadrons of the 86th TFW in 1978 was:
512th Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-4E, RS, green/black tail stripe)
526th Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-4E, RS, red/black tail stripe)
On June 14th, 1985, the unit was reestablished and attached to the 86th OG. In September 1985, the 512th TFS converted to the General Dynamics Block 25 F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the 526th retired their F-4Es in June 1986, also receiving Block 25 F-16s. The 86th TFW supported numerous military units located in the area and participated in numerous exercises that provided the wing with air combat tactics training essential to their mission.