The 8th Fighter Squadron ‘Black Sheep’ was reactivated at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, on August 4. The unit was last inactivated on May 13, 2011, as an F-22 squadron and rose to fame as an F-117A Nighthawk unit. It is now an F-16C/D unit and part of the 54th Fighter Group, which falls under the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona.
Lt Col Mark Sletten, took command of the 8th FS at an activation ceremony led by Col James Keen, 54th Fighter Group commander. ‘I have no doubt that the proud heritage of the ‘Black Sheep’ will continue here at Holloman under the leadership of [Sletten],’ Keen said.
The squadron, first activated at Selfridge Field, Michigan, Jan. 16, 1941, as part of the 49th Pursuit Group. It has operated the P-40 Warhawk, the P-38 Lightning, the F-117 Nighthawk and most recently, the F-22 Raptor.
The 8th FS now flies alongside the 311th FS and 314th FS at Holloman, all flying the F-16. Sletten said the 8th FS is dedicated to generating new F-16 fighter pilots and requalifying former F-16 fighter pilots as part of a production effort.
‘Our mission is to build the future of air power and to lead the Air Force in developing Airmen while training F-16 fighter pilots,’ Sletten said.