Defense sends squadron of F-16s to conflict zone in Middle East after a dozen drone attacks on U.S. forces

F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing, 119th Fighter Squadron, of the New Jersey Air National Guard, prepare to land at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J., July 31, 2021. The squadron has been identified to deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a squadron of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft has arrived in the U.S. Central Command “area of responsibility.”

The aircraft will work alongside an array of capabilities the Defense Department has sent to the Middle East region in recent days to further enhance the ability of U.S. forces to defend themselves.

After the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, militia groups backed by Iran have, on more than a dozen occasions, attacked U.S. forces conducting counterterrorism missions in both Iraq and Syria. 

“We know that the groups conducting these attacks are supported by the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and the Iranian regime,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing Tuesday. “What we are seeing is the prospect for more significant escalation against U.S. forces and personnel across the region, in the very near term, coming from Iranian proxy forces and ultimately from Iran.” 

In response, this past weekend, the department deployed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group to Centcom, and directed to the region a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery from Fort Bliss, Texas, and additional Patriot missile battalions from both Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 

The aircraft movement announced today involves F-16s from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. 

A variety of military units have been put on prepare-to-deploy orders, though none of those have yet been activated, he said.

The effort to protect U.S. forces in the region is one of three primary objectives the department has focused on since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. Ryder said the department is also focused on supporting Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorist attacks and deterring a broader conflict in the region. 

To assist Israel in its defense he said the U.S. has rushed in security assistance to enable Israel Defense Forces to restore security and protect the Israeli people. 

“As we’ve highlighted, this includes capabilities requested by Israel, to include precision guided munitions, small diameter bombs, artillery, ammunition, Iron Dome interceptors and other critical equipment. We continue to stay in close contact with our Israeli partners on their defense needs and remain committed to the security of Israel,” Ryder said. 

The department has also provided advisors to Israel to help officials there mitigate civilian casualties as they conduct their military planning. Those advisors, Ryder noted, have deep experience in urban combat. 

“Since [the] Hamas terrorist attack, we’ve also been crystal clear that we do not want to see the situation in Israel [widen] into a broader regional conflict,” he said. ” … Our message to any country or group thinking about trying to take advantage of this situation to widen the conflict is: Don’t.”


  1. Well……..make sure all your kids are signed and up to date with Selective Service.
    Oh… and you might want to throw their fat asses out the door and have them pounding pavement if you want them to survive what’s coming.

    • I know few parents of eligible children who would want their children dying in a foreign war for the oligarchs of the empire.

      And for the “fat asses” among their children- there aren’t any. It is called good parenting.

  2. The Ayatollah is very busy this time of the year. Finding space on his calendar to negotiate hostages will not be possible until, at least, after the Ramadan season. Accordingly, it is very important to plan for a smooth transition when Biden leaves the equipment behind.

    Can DOD confirm neatly pressed flight suits, Ray-Ban aviator glasses, and modern flight simulators were shipped out with the F-16’s?

  3. Thank God we have so many extra (migrants) to work in factories making munitions for the War that Biden will drag us into
    Thanks Joe.

    • Please do not dignify the illegal border crossers as ” migrants”. Many of these “illegal migrants ” coming are already “Americans”, whether they be from South America, Central America or North America. Other “illegal migrants” are lumped into the same group and crossing the border from around the world; who knows from where or why they are here. Do not blur the distinction, popular media and some in government love it.
      Many of us are migrants who or whose forefathers went through a proscribed immigration process. The proudest day for these was to be sworn in as citizens, not as Americans, but as “Citizens of the United States”. Those of us who are legally “Citizens of the United States” need to wear the title as an honor–this is our homeland to defend.

  4. If only we had all the ammo Grandpa Bloodstains gave to Ukraine. If only we were producing our own oil.

    If only we hadn’t elected Grandpa Bloodstains…

    We played a very stupid game electing him, now we’re getting the results.

    • And yet they’ve somehow convinced the people that Republicans are warmongers. It’s the same story with racism, slavery, the economy, etc., etc., etc.

  5. I don’t believe we are being “dragged into a war”. It appears to me we are ALREADY in it. As a Vietnam era boomer, this makes me more than angry. I didn’t understand that war either but just thought it was because I was young and dumb. Now I’ve learned a lot more and studied history and government since then. Nobody has ever explained to me why the US must be the “policemen” (or women!) for the whole world. We are certainly in the “foreign entanglements” that one of founding fathers warned about.

  6. Our southern border, Ukraine, Israel, and now China is becoming more aggressive to its neighbors in the South China Sea. Feels like the walls are closing in.

    • I can understand this sentiment if one believes that the United States has an obligation to secure freedom, democracy and all the other good stuff throughout the world. I certainly believe in that mission but urge that we need to understand there are limits to America’s physical resources and moral power. If and when we exceed those limits, everyone loses. I personally believe that Ukraine is a bridge too far and that the Middle-east is a quagmire. Let’s figure out how to score “wins” and avoid overreaching.

      • To that end, I liked the Abraham Accords. Too bad Joe flushed those along with energy independence and loosed $6 billion to Iran.

  7. Endless wars on the other side of the globe. Unclear and unstated objectives. Vague rules of engagement. Open-ended committments. Have we lost our minds?

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