510th Fighter Squadron

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U.S. military officials are coordinating search and rescue efforts with Italian military and civilian teams following the loss of communication with an Aviano F-16 fighter jet Monday evening. The aircraft, assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, was performing a training mission over the Adriatic Sea when the base lost contact with the pilot at approximately 8 p.m. Soon after, Italian aircraft and ships were dispatched to the missing jet's last known location.

LSC Loads F-16 during Open Base Day

Published in Videos

510th LSC loads static F-16 during Open Base Day in 2000.  The video shows the loading of GBU munitions to the 31st OSS jet.

Traversing through the war-torn streets of Afghanistan is a necessity that often comes with many dangers for U.S. military members. These are dangers 16 tactical air control party operators with the 8th Air Support Operations Squadron combated regularly this year, along with the help of their F-16 Fighting Falcon brethren of the 510th Fighter Squadron.

U.S. pilots from the 555th and 510th Fighter Squadrons based out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, have been given a rare opportunity to train and share experiences with Bulgarian air force MiG-21 and MiG-29 pilots during their deployment here in support of Thracian Star 2012.

Poland continues to build its relationship with the United States as both nations' air forces integrate their capabilities in a joint theater security cooperation event July 15-26, 2013.

This marks the third time U.S. aircraft have flown into Poland as part of a partnership-building initiative that began in October 2012.

"We are demonstrating the commitment that we've made to Poland," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Spears, commander of Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group.

The aviation detachment began in 2011 as a discussion between the U.S. ambassador to Poland and the Polish Defense Minister. In June of that year, the two signed a memorandum authorizing and creating the detachment. Since the detachment's opening in 2012, both militaries have worked to solidify the positions and create a long-standing, enduring American presence in the country.

"We consider them one of our top allies, and it's an ally that we want to improve our relationship with and partnership with," Spears said. "So, the aviation detachment is a mechanism with which we can strengthen that partnership."

The detachment is the administrative hub of an aerial training program and is part of the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. For this rotation, the U.S. aircraft are from the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy -- a major air combat asset of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

During each rotation, the detachment balances the training needs of participating aircraft. Both Aviano and Lask employ the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, and some of the training will focus on communication effectiveness and familiarization of techniques.

"We get to learn from our allies," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jason Monaco, officer in charge of the 510th FS during the rotation. "We get to train with them at all levels, whether it's the pilots flying the jets, the maintenance guys turning the wrenches or the guys building the bombs -- we get to see what the Polish air force does.

"And that's something we don't get when we're just working with each other back home," he added.

Spears said the Polish government's hospitality has been indicative of their eagerness to share security efforts across Europe, and hosting the U.S. military in their country is not the first time that Poland has demonstrated their commitment to peace.

"When you look at the history of the two nations, you find that this isn't a new partnership," Spears said. "It's a partnership and heritage that dates back to our county's existence. Really, we're continuing on those traditions and that heritage, because we do value Poland as a nation and a partner in NATO."

Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
LASK AIR BASE, Poland

Buzzards RULE!

Published in Videos

Another awesome compilation video of the 510th EFS which was deployed to Bagram Airfield Afghanistan.  Video shows Pilot, Maintainers, Jets, Drop Videos...  AWESOME!

Operation ALLIED FORCE - CAP Mission

Published in Videos

Video of the 510th Fighter Squadron Buzzards on a CAP mission in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE.

USAF F-16 Aircraft Crashes in Turkey

Published in In the News

ANKARA, Turkey {AP}— A U.S. F-16 fighter jet heading for a patrol over northern Iraq crashed in Turkey on Wednesday after apparently suffering engine problems, the first U.S. warplane to go down in more than 200,000 flights over the no-fly zones.

Kosovo Buzzards

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Compilation of the 510th Fighter Squadron Buzzards during the Kosovo Conflict.

Missing F-16 Pilot's Body Recovered

Published in In the News

Buzzards everywhere send their deepest condolences as well as our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Lucas.  A terrible loss....

An Italian vessel on the Adriatic Sea on Thursday recovered the body of F-16 pilot Capt. Lucas Gruenther, announced officials at Aviano AB, Italy. Gruenther had been missing since Monday when contact was lost with his F-16 during a nighttime training mission over the water. He was chief of flight safety for Aviano's 31st Fighter Wing.