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MIGHTY TACTICAL
Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie

Feast your eyes on this F-16's new 'Ghost' paint scheme

(US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tabatha McCarthy)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet made its initial flight after receiving the first US Air Force "Ghost" paint scheme, May 23, 2019.

The design was chosen by a poll held by Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny, 57th Wing commander, on his social media account to add a new look to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS).

"I love this job, and I love what we do at Nellis Air Force Base, so I want to take any opportunity to boast about our fine men and women who do great work for their nation," said Novotny.

"Social Media gives me a chance to connect directly with the folks who have a similar passion for military aviation."


Novotny decided to take a non-traditional route of determining a new paint scheme for the F-16. Facebook and Novotny's followers would be the deciding factor for the new Ghost scheme.

Aircraft painters for Mission First (M1) assigned to the 57th Aircraft Maintenance Group sand the tail of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron inside the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 1, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

Once the poll was concluded, the idea of the Ghost jet was handed off to the Mission First (M1) crew at the corrosion shop to make it a reality.

Jesus Yanez, 57th Maintenance Group Mission First (M1) aircraft painter, sprays the underside of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron inside the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 8, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

"We want a good product just like the commander does," said Troy Blaschko, an aircraft painter with M1 assigned to the 57th Maintenance Group. "It means just as much to us as it does to the pilots and we're really glad to be a part of it."

Troy Blaschko, 57th Maintenance Group Mission First (M1) aircraft painter, peels off letters for the masking, inside the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 7, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

M1 was tasked to take the idea from a two-dimensional graphic to a three-dimensional 20,300-pound fighter jet.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS) received new decals and stenciling inside the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 16, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

From there they had to mask, sand, wash, prime, paint, and apply stencils to the aircraft for it to be completed.

Peter Mossudo and Troy Blaschko, both 57th Maintenance Group Mission First (M1) aircraft painters, place masking for stenciling on an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet inside the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 16, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

The project started on April 22, 2019, once the F-16 was towed into the corrosion shop from Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU). With a seven-man team on days and a six-man team on swings for M1, the jet was finished in just under one month.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressors Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit on the flight line at Nellis Air Force base, Nevada, May 21, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

Once the jet was finished, it was towed back to Viper AMU and back in the hands of its crew chief.

Senior Airman Rodolfo Aguayo-Santacruz, 926th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) crew chief, prepares to control an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet getting towed out of the corrosion shop on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 20, 2019.

(US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

"It's quite an honor [being the crew chief for the first Air Force Ghost paint scheme]," said Master Sgt. Corey Cain, 926 AMXS dedicated crew chief.

A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon with the "Ghost" paint scheme at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

(Nellis Air Force Base/Facebook)

"Once I learned about the crowd sourcing for the paint scheme, I was very excited for it. I knew an aircraft was going to receive this paint job but when they said it was going to be my jet, I was pumped," Cain said.

A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon with the "Ghost" paint scheme at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

(Nellis Air Force Base/Facebook)

Keep an eye out for a Ghost in the sky. It will surely be a daunting adversary for our Air Force and our allies.

A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon with the "Ghost" paint scheme at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

(Nellis Air Force Base/Facebook)

This article originally appeared on United States Air Force. Follow @USAF on Twitter.