The Royal Norwegian Air Force has bade farewell to the Lockheed Martin F-16 after more than 40 years of pivotal service defending the Scandinavian country and serving NATO’s air-policing system. Paulo Mata reports
January 6, 2022, started like any other day in Norway at that time of year – cold and windy. At Bodø Air Station in the north of the country, the grim weather was tinged with an air of sadness as a pair of Luftforsvaret (Royal Norwegian Air Force, RNoAF) Lockheed Martin F-16AMs were prepared for the type’s last operational sorties in ‘Noggie’ colours. In a symbolic action to close more than 40 years of solid service, the final quick reaction alert (QRA) F-16 pair (serials 674 and 668) at Bodø would perform one last scramble, before overflying Evenes Air Station, where the nation’s new fifth-generation Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II would take over the role.