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Excitement ensued as I discovered two QF-4E Phantom's from Detachment 1 of 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron (ATRS) were more than likely going to be passing through Luke Air Force Base for some fuel as they were returning from the Reno Air Races. The 82nd ATRS is based out of Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida is fall under the command of the 53rd Wing / 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group. However, the 82nd ATRS has a detachment located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) role is designed to assist in the testing and development of weapons. The F-4 Phantom's role as an aerial target is coming to a close and will be replaced by the QF-16. As the QF-4's role comes to a close, getting an opportunity to see this exceedingly rare aircraft is something that I could not pass up. Along with these QF-4's, an F-5N from VMFT-401 "Snipers" arrived as well which was also a nice treat. Since the 21st Fighter Squadron and 61st Fighter Squadron were on TDY's at the time (21st FS to PDX, 61st FS to Mountain Home AFB), the activity at Luke became extremely slow after a while so the day was called short.
Luke Air Force Base - September 19, 2016