Sky Avenger 2018

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Sky Avenger 2018 - Čáslav Air Base, Czech Republic

Badge Čáslav AB

Čáslav Air Base

The 21st Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav will host a multinational exercise 'Sky Avenger' between 18 and 29 June this year. The Czech Air Force has confirmed the participation of Gripen and L-159 ALCA planes from the Čáslav base. Six F-16s will also participate in the exercise. Sky Avenger is a joint exercise based on Czech Air Force's long-term cooperation with the Air National Guards of Nebraska and Texas. “In addition to dogfighting and cooperation with forward air controllers, the exercise will also focus on composite air missions,” discloses Major Tomáš Merta, Deputy Director of the exercise.

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On June 18-29, 2018, the Czech Air Force Tactical Air Force under the title Sky Avenger 2018 will take place at the 21st Air Force base of the Czech Air Force. The Air Force of the Czech Army will take part in the JAS-39 Gripen and L-159 ALCA airplanes from the Čáslav base, helicopters Mil Mi-24/35 and Mi-171 from the 22nd Helicopter Air Base at Náměšť nad Oslavou. The United States of America to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the KC-135 is also promised.

The International Exercise will be held on the basis of long-term cooperation with Nebra and Texas National Guard. A total of 6 F-16s will be joined by the base of the Commonwealth. "In addition to maneuvering aerial fights and co-operation with forward-looking air guides, exercises will also be focused on missions with complex scenarios," says Deputy Director of Major Exercises Tomas Mert. Just the KC-135 tanker will use mission-level fighters according to a complex scenario for Composite Air Operations (COMAO) to refuel in flight.

After the initial planning conference, which took place from 6 to 7 February 2018, the exercise program is planned in two blocks. In the morning, missions will be conducted according to a complex scenario, and in the afternoon, missions will focus on maneuvering aerial combat and direct air support tasks.

Cooperation between the Czech Army and the Nebra and Texas National Guard was established in 1993 when its primary objective was to help the Czech Army in preparation for NATO entry. Within the framework of years of cooperation, joint exercises are held in the Czech Republic or Texas. Exchange of experience also takes place, for example, in command and control, cyber defense, destruction of explosive devices, or protection against weapons of mass destruction.


Caslav, CZ

Pardubice, CZ

Námest, CZ

Flying activities on the 20th of June 2018

*L-159A 6053 has a special Spitfire paint scheme to commemorate General František Perina. Wing Commander General František Perina was a Czech fighter pilot, who also served with the Royal Air Force in WWII.

Sky Avenger 2018

The author thanks the 21. základna taktického letectva Čáslav for their great support during the Spottersday of the 20th of June 2018. 

Ton van Schaik.

149th FW

History 149th FW/182nd FS 

Texas Air National Guard


The distinctive insignia, shown in the upper left hand corner, of the "Alamo Group" reflects the unit's proud history. The blue field with the white clouds symbolizes the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. The red embattled base bearing a replica of the Alamo is a reference to the group's location and proud Texas military heritage. The dagger with the star, symbol of Texas, is a reminder that the group was the first Air National Guard unit to fly the F-102 "Delta Dagger" aircraft. The honors of the 396th Fighter Squadron are commemorated in the fleur-de-lis denoting World War II Distinguished Unit Citation for action in France, the Taeguk with the caltrap denoting service in the Korean War, and the rope in the colors of the Belgian Fourragere denoting the unit's World War II foreign citations.


The 149th Fighter Wing is an F-16 flying training unit that includes a support group with a worldwide mobility commitment. The cornerstone of the 149th's flying mission is the 182d Fighter Squadron, whose role is to take pilots, either experienced aircrew or recent graduates from USAF undergraduate pilot training, and qualify them to fly and employ the F-16.


The formation of today's 149th Fighter Wing traces back to 1943 when the 396th Fighter Squadron was activated and served honorable during World War II. During the war, the 396th FS served in the European Theater where it earned the Belgian Fourragere. The unit also earned the Belgian Croiz de Guerre twice and was recognized with the Distinguished Unit Citation for action over Mons, France, Sept. 3, 1944. After the war, most Guard units were given the lineage of similar WWII combat units. In keeping with this tradtion, the 396th FS was inactivated Aug. 20, 1946 and later re-designated as the 182nd Fighter Squadron, a Texas Air National Guard unit. The 182nd FS received federal recognition Oct. 6, 1947 and was given a fighter-bomber mission. 

The 182nd began flying the F-51 "Mustang" in 1947 and accepted its first jet, the F-84E "Thunderjet" when the squadron was called to active duty during the Korean War. The squadron, as an element of the 136th Fighter Wing, was the first Air National Guard squadron to see combat during that war; the first Air National Guard unit to shoot down a MiG-15; and the first to successfully demonstrate the applicability of aerial refueling during combat.

On July 1, 1960, the unit was re-organized as the 149th Fighter Group with the 182nd FS as a component of the group. Although the unit has experienced several reorganizations in its more than 70-year history, the 149th has always flown fighter aircraft. 

A list of the aircraft the unit has flown appears below.


F-84F O-29002 parked at MASDC in March 1971. The remaining French Air Force F-84Fs were phased out in 1965-1966. Of these 16, including 52-9002, were returned to the USA for further service in the ANG. 

Photo ©Unknown/Collection Marinus Dirk Tabak.

Kelly AFB. Kelly Field Annex is a former United States Air Force facility located in San Antonio. Now the Air Force Base is one part of Joint Base San Antonio.

Formation of F-86Ds. Photo ©USAF

Convair TF-102A-41-CO (S/N 56-2339) of the 182nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, on May 1, 1965. F-102A (S/N 56-1481) is in the background. (U.S. Air Force photo).

F-102A 57-0839 of the 182nd FIS. The 182nd was in July 1960 the first ANG squadron to be equipped with the F-102. Photo ©USGOV-PD. 

F-100D 55-2818, unit marking in the F-100 period was a red and white tail band. The Texas F-100s came from the 20thTFW which was based at RAF Wethersfield in the UK. 2818 served from 1960-1970 with the 48thTFW at RAF Lakenheath in the UK, and was transferred in late 1970 to the 20thTFW and departed a short time later to the USA/Texas ANG.In May 1979 it moved to MASDC for storage.

Photo at Kelly AFB in September 1978 ©Volkert Jan van den Berg.

F-100F 56-3861, also ex 20thTFW. Each squadron had a few duals. 861 went into storage at Davis Monthan and was issued to Sperry in November 1979 for pilot checking for the QF-100  Full-Scale Aerial Taget Programme and was by 1981 based at Tyndall AFB. It returned to Davis-Monthan Store in September 1989. It departed in June 1990 to Mojave for QF-100F conversion. However the programme was terminated, and the converted 861 went again in June 1991 for storage at D-M. It finally went to the Evergreen Museum as spares source for the museum F-100F.

Photo at Kelly AFB in September 1978 ©Volkert Jan van den Berg.

The 182nd received the F-4C in Spring 1979. Most of the F-4Cs including 63-7421 came from the 401stTFW 'TJ'. The unit was completed with a few from the 52nd TFW 'SP' and from the 35thTFW 'GA'.  Kelly AFB October 1980. Photo ©Volkert Jan van den Berg.

F-4C 63-7689 with a blue nose wheel door. Many 182nd had names and artwork inside the main nosewheel door. 689 was named 'War Wagon'. Kelly AFB October 1980. Photo ©Volkert Jan van den Berg.

The drone on the splitter plate will be a M-34 drone that was pulled down during a detachment at Tyndall AFB. Units went to Tyndall for life missile firings. The 918 has a red nose wheel door (nwd) color. The 182nd had three nwd colors: yellow for the low serials; blue for the middle block and red for the high serials. Kelly AFB October 1980. Photo ©Ton van Schaik.

F-4C 63-7431 SA, in South East Asia Wraparound camouflage. The 182nd coded their F-4Cs 'SA' in September 1983. Kelly AFB is close to the city of San Antonio (SA). 

Photo March 1986 ©Unknown/Collection Marinus Dirk Tabak.

F-4C 64-0918 SA, in European One camouflage. This camouflage scheme was used from 1983.

Photo March 1986 ©Unknown/Collection Marinus Dirk Tabak.

Previous F-16 markings

F-16A 80-0610 arrived at Kelly AFB on 19 July 1986 as 'HR' blue. The ex 50th TFW F-16s were replaced in 1982-1983 with FY82-83 F-16s from the 347th TFW 'MY' and 31st TFW 'HS'. In early 1996 the unit converted to ex 457th FS F-16C/D Block 25s.

Photo ©Unknown/Collection Ton van Schaik.

In July 1983 F-16B 81-0820 arrived at Hahn AB under the 496th TFS 'HR'. Later it moved to the 313th TFS also at Hahn AB. In December 1985 it joined the 182nd TFS. 

Photo ©Unknown/Collection Ton van Schaik.

F-16A 80-0587/SA '182 TFS' at the ramp of Kelly AFB. It arrived with the 182nd TFS in May 1987 and came from the 10th TFS 'HR' based at Hahn AB. Photo ©Unknown/Collection Ton van Schaik.

In action during Sky Avenger 2018

F-16D 87-0376 SA. In early 1999 the 182nd FS became an Formal Training Unit, 376 was one of the extra duals received then. 376 was delivered to the 56th TFW 'MC', by April 1993 to the 176th FS Wisconsin ANG 'WI', and finally by April 1999 to the 182nd FS.

Photo ©Ton van Schaik.

F-16C 87-0285/SA was delivered in May 1989 to the 56th TFW 'MC'. By October 1993 it moved to the 138th TFS 'NY' New York ANG. In Fiscal Year 1999 the 182nd exchanged their F-16C/D Block 25s with the 138th FS New York ANG receiving their Block 30s. The markings were then changed from a tail band to a waving flag. 

Photo ©Ton van Schaik.

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