LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nellis Air Force Base marked a big arrival Friday, as three F-16 fighter jets arrived, now owned and operated by a reserve unit.
“It’s just a feeling like nothing in the world,” Nellis Air Force Base pilot Kristin Hollrich said of the arrival.
Overall, she spoke on the major moment it marked here in Las Vegas.
“When we were flying in on the way in,” Hollrich said. “We said, ‘Welcome home.'”
She described the importance and her elation over the arrival of these jets, now owned and maintained by The 926th Wing Reserve Unit.
“Now we will own our particular piece in the mission,” Colonel Michael Cabral, Deputy Commander of the 926th Wing said. “And it will be whole reserve responsibilities to generate these aircraft.”
The mission of the aggressor squadron is to make sure joint and allied fighters are ready for realistic threats. Now, they will own, maintain, and operate their own aircraft, which Colonel Michael Cabral called a game changer.
“It’s been a ton of effort, we have so many airmen, so many reservists,” he said. “That have been working towards this for over 3 years now.”
It also frees up more active-duty members, which means overall manpower.
“Having our own jets and some ownership within the mission,” Hollrich said. “Is just absolutely integral.”
Integral, as Hollrich and her counterparts continue to train for what they called the high-end fight.
“It is absolutely incredible,” Hollrich concluded. “To be able to fly these jets.”
The three aircrafts that arrived Friday are the first of 18 that are set to come to Nellis Air Force Base as part of the 926th Wing.
All jets will be changed to have “LV” painted on their tails.