Shaw’s ‘Gamblers’ deploy F-16s to Middle East


The 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina — also known as the “Gamblers” — has deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia.

The 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan said in a Facebook post Wednesday morning that the squadron and its contingent of F-16 Vipers had arrived, and posted photos of the fighters landing and airmen arriving. The unit will support the wing’s mission of “sustaining and defending joint partner forces,” the wing said on Facebook.

Later that day, the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw said in a news release that the squadron’s airpower would “increase regional stability and security.”

“Our Team Shaw airmen are going downrange to deliver dominant airpower and execute a mission of national, regional and global importance,” wing commander Col. Lawrence Sullivan said in the release. “This deployment is an example of our commitment to provide strategic depth, resiliency and operational agility to our international allies and partners in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”

Airmen from the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrive at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. (378th Air Expeditionary Wing)

Shaw also posted its own photos of the squadron’s Oct. 9 departure.

“The Gamblers are ready to patrol the skies, deliver precision airstrikes and train alongside regional partners to maximize capabilities in regards to mutual security concerns,” squadron commander Lt. Col. David Bennett said in the release.

Sign up for the Air Force Times Daily News Roundup

Don’t miss the top Air Force stories, delivered each afternoon

By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Air Force Times Daily News Roundup.


Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *