New Jersey Air National Guard planes that were training over South Jersey days ago are now on duty in the Middle East.

F-16 pilots from the New Jersey National Guard based at the 177th Fighter Wing in Egg Harbor Township deployed to the Middle East on Tuesday in support of the U.S. Military presence following the Oct. 7th attack on Israel.

The 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron is better known by the larger group name it's a part of, the 177th Fighter Wing. The 119th Squadron operates F-16 Vipers, which have HARM anti-radiation missile and radar-guided air-to-air missile capability.

A tweet on X, formally known as Twitter, announced the arrival of the Jersey Devils squadron, showing the familiar "New Jersey" tail flashes and "AC" tail code.

The 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft have arrived in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to bolster U.S. posture to deter further aggression@USAFCENT

The military does not release information about the specific base where the South Jersey troops are located, saying only that the F-16s are positioned in their area of responsibility, which includes the Middle East and portions of North Africa and central Asia.

The deployment of the 119th comes as part of the U.S. military's build-up in the region following the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and includes the deployment of two U.S. Navy carriers, and Air Force A-10 attack jets sent to the region.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said the involvement of Iran in the conflict drove the repositioning.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, of the 9th Air Force, to which the 119th squadron will be attached during its deployment under the federal mission, said the F-16 pilots from South Jersey were a welcome addition to his force.

“Air National Guard Airmen bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our mission in the Middle East. The arrival of these Airmen strengthens our ability to support our allied, coalition, and regional partners as we work together to enhance regional stability and security.”

Local Favorites: Top 10 Atlantic City Casino Restaurants

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

Soups On: South Jersey's Absolutely Best Soup is Revealed

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

More From Lite 96.9 WFPG