October 4, 2012

Deputy Defense Secretary visits international F-16 schoolhouse

Lt. Col. Christine Rhodes
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. Ashton B. Carter, visited the 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport today to learn about international F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot training.

The Arizona Air National Guard was one of several stops Dr. Carter made throughout the Tucson area.

“It was very good for our Airmen to see a senior Department of Defense leader visit our installation,” said Col. Mick McGuire, 162nd Fighter Wing commander. “Dr. Carter left with a strong understanding of our mission and the impact of our global training success.”

Dr. Carter and his staff met with students and exchange pilots from Iraq, Singapore, Japan, Denmark, Poland, South Korea, Norway and the Netherlands.

Air Guardsmen here train more than 70 international student pilots per year, offering several training programs that range from initial F-16 training to qualify new pilots to an advanced weapons course.

The 162nd is the “face of the USAF to the world” providing the best-trained coalition war-fighting partners for the United States Air Force. The wing has trained pilots from 28 countries that fly the F-16 today while developing strategic partnerships and building strong international relationships based on performance, friendship and trust.

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