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This website contains the story behind the world’s best ” interceptor”  and “deep interdiction” fighter. 

There are numerous great site’s about the F-15 so why another site? Well most site are great photo gallery’s and contain the history and development of the F-15. What they miss is the story behind the F-15. The training, exercises and Operations. The history of the squadrons that operate or haven flown with the F-15.

An F-15C Eagle from the 122nd Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard, takes off during Red Flag 16-4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 24, 2016. Red Flag 16-4 conducted exercise missions to train pilots in a highly contested environment with coalition partners. (U. S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Frank Miller)

An F-15C Eagle from the 122nd Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard, takes off during Red Flag 16-4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 24, 2016. Red Flag 16-4 conducted exercise missions to train pilots in a highly contested environment with coalition partners. (U. S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Frank Miller)

It is a site that is far from complete, so any contributions like Stories, Info etc. is more than welcome. Please contact the webmaster via the “contact me” page.

Each squadron history page is different from the other. Such as the 461 FS which contains a whole lot of extra information about the development of the F-15E. Take a look for yourself, and I hope you enjoy it.

SOUTHWEST ASIA - An F-15 Eagle taxis prior to a training sortie Feb. 22, 2012. The 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Their mission is both deterrence as part of the defense of the Arabian Gulf, and training with partners in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Arian Nead)

SOUTHWEST ASIA – An F-15 Eagle taxis prior to a training sortie Feb. 22, 2012. The 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Their mission is both deterrence as part of the defense of the Arabian Gulf, and training with partners in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Arian Nead)

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493 FS Eagles safeguard Baltic sovereignty

 ŠIAULIAI AIR BASE, Lithuania — The Eagle is a combat proven, tactical fighter designed to permit the U.S. Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield. It can penetrate rival defenses and outperform and outfight any current opposing aircraft, giving NATO the strategic access critical to meet Article 5 commitments and to respond to threats against its Allies and partners.

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle aircrew member from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron responds to an alert scramble notification at Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, Sept. 4, 2017.The 493rd EFS pilots routinely track, intercept and interrogate aircraft operating in Baltic airspace who are non-responsive to local air-traffic controlled communication or operating without an official flight plan. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

“Big picture, we’re ensuring our strategic partnership with our Baltic allies by protecting the sovereign skies above the Baltic states,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Clint Guenther, 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron detachment commander. “Our contingent is on alert twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to ensure we are fulfilling that commitment.”

What makes the F-15C uniquely suited for the Baltic Air Policing mission is its capability to detect, acquire, track and intercept opposing aircraft while operating in friendly or rival-controlled air space? The 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilots can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to treetop level.

“When the Combined Air Operations Center, monitoring the Baltic skies in Germany identifies an aircraft that is not squawking [talking to regional air traffic control] or on a registered flight plan, they notify the wing operations center here in Siauliai, who alerts us to respond,” Guenther said. “From that moment, we are airborne within fifteen minutes of that notification to interrogate that aircraft.”

F-15C Eagles can be configured with air-to-air weaponry such as the AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile on its lower fuselage corners and the AIM-9L/M Sidewinder or AIM-120 missiles on two pylons under the wings, along with an internal 20mm Gatling gun in the right wing root, allowing it to provide all-weather, day or night air superiority and air-to-ground precision capability

(U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Preserving the integrity of allied airspace in peacetime by air policing remains a vital task and an important demonstration of the collective political will and resolve of all NATO nations; operations such as this are critical to the defense of NATO allies, their national interests and are a solid financial investment in Europe’s collective security.

NATO stands with its Baltic allies in maintaining a Europe that is safe, secure and prosperous. To date, seventeen NATO countries have shared the air policing mission in the Baltic region since operations began in April 2004.

493 FS assumes lead of NATO Baltic Air Policing mission

By Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published August 31, 2017

ŠIAULIAI AIR BASE, Lithuania — The United States Air Force assumed control of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from the Polish air force during a hand-over, take-over ceremony at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, Aug. 30, 2017.

A Polish F-16 pilot taxis to park after completion of a Baltic Air Policing sortie at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, Aug. 30, 2017. NATO Air Policing is a peacetime collective defense mission, safeguarding the integrity of the NATO Alliance member’s airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Approximately 140 Airmen and seven F-15C Eagles deployed to Lithuania as part of the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.

“I’m excited as a NATO Air Chief and I’m excited as a U.S. citizen to welcome the 493rd from the 48th Fighter Wing, an F-15C squadron to serve the next rotation of Baltic Air Policing,” said Gen. Tod D. Wolters, NATO Allied Air Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander. “It is the U.S.’ fifth opportunity to rotate and serve the region, and I know that all of our maintainers, operators, mission supporters and that beautiful F-15C will do whatever it takes over the next 120 days to protect the beautiful sovereign skies above Lithuania.”

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cody Blake, 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron detachment commander, accepts the key to the Baltic Air Policing mission from Polish air force Lt. Col. Piotr Ostrouch during the official Baltic Air Policing hand-over, take-over ceremony at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, Aug. 30, 2017. The 493rd EFS is slated to lead the Baltic Air Policing rotation through the end of the 2017 calendar year. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

NATO Air Policing is a peacetime collective defense mission, safeguarding the integrity of the NATO Alliance member’s airspace. The principle of collective defense is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty. It remains a unique and enduring principle that binds its members together, committing them to protect each other and setting a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance.

“We know that all of NATO stands alongside us in defense of our shared values and principles,” said Vytautas Umbrasas, Vice Minister of Lithuania’s National Defence.
Baltic Air Policing is part of NATO’s “Smart Defense” model that incorporates allied nations, conducting operations through shared capabilities and coordinated efforts to effectively accomplish missions.

(U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

“I speak on behalf of every U.S. Airman here, when I say that it is our honor to protect and defend the sovereignty of the Baltic borders,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cody Blake, 493rd EFS detachment commander.

This is the U.S. Air Force’s 5th rotation serving as the lead for the NATO mission. The 493rd EFS is slated to continue its current rotation through the end of the 2017 calendar year.

(U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Brig. Gen. Cornish conducts final flight at Kadena AB

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, and members from Team Kadena pose for a group photo June 29, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Cornish conducted his final flight as the 18th WG commander and celebrated the moment with his family and close friends of Team Kadena. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

550th Fighter Squadron “Silver Eagles” reactivated

By Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy, 173rd Fighter Wing

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. —

The active duty Air Force detachment based here is now officially designated as the 550th Fighter Squadron following an activation ceremony at Kingsley Field, July 21, 2017.

In 2014, the detachment was activated as a part of the Total Force Integration (TFI), which brought active-duty Airman to Kingsley Field for the first time. They were originally designated as Detachment 2, 56th Operations Group.

“As a combined operations, maintenance, and support squadron, the 550th ‘Silver Eagles’ will be one of the largest squadrons in Air Education and Training Command,” said Lt. Col. Brad Orgeron, the squadron commander.  “Together the 550th Silver Eagles and the 173rd Fighter Wing will continue to produce the best air-to-air F-15C pilots for the Combat Air Force.”

U.S. Air Force members from the 173rd Fighter Wing and 550th Fighter Squadron, stand at attention as the Detachment 2 flag is rolled up during an activation ceremony, July 21, 2017, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The active duty Air Force detachment assigned to Kingsley Field, previously Detachment 2, is now officially designated as the 550th Fighter Squadron. 550th Fighter Squadron members will continue to fall under the command of the 56th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy)

550th Fighter Squadron members will continue to fall under the command of the 56th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., but will operate out of Kingsley Field alongside the Oregon Air National Guardsmen.

The TFI is designed to bolster Kingsley’s mission with additional Air Force active duty Airmen stationed at the Air National Guard base in order to increase the number of pilots trained in a given period of time.

TFI is an acronym used to describe a military organization which has both reserve and active component members working side-by-side in the same organization for a common mission.

The TFI was initiated after the Chief of Staff of the Air Force directed increased production of F-15C pilots. To achieve this goal the Air Force recognized the need for additional aircraft and manpower at the 173rd Fighter Wing, the sole F-15C training base for the USAF.

Currently, nearly 100 active-duty Airmen belonging to the 550th Fighter Squadron reside in the Klamath Basin.

An Airman from the 550th Fighter Squadron reveals the new squadron patch during an activation ceremony, July 21, 2017, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The active duty Air Force detachment based out of the Kingsley Field, previously known as Detachment 2, is now officially designated as the 550th Fighter Squadron. 550th Fighter Squadron members will continue to fall under the command of the 56th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy)

494 Fighter Squadron “Panthers” Pride of Juniper Falcon

By Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Uvda Air Base, Uvda, Israel — Twelve F-15E Strike Eagles along with 262 Airmen attached to the 48th Fighter Wing, 494th Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Falcon from May 7 – 22, 2017.

The 494th conducted Defense Counter Air integration training with the Israeli Air Force designed to improve Israel’s qualitative military edge through air readiness; while building on the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Israel.

“This exercise was important for the 48th Fighter Wing because it gave us an opportunity to train with an important partner that we don’t always get to train with,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Evan Pettus, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “We were able to build upon our interoperability as a force and increase our confidence that we can employ together cohesively should the need ever arise.”

Three F-15I Ra’ams await clearance to launch for a sortie in support of exercise Juniper Falcon May 8, at Uvda Air Base, Israel. Juniper Falcon 17 represents the combination of several bi-lateral component/ Israeli Defense Force exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. These exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

These training sorties, which focused on air interoperability, gave the 494th “Mighty Black Panther” pilots the chance to take part in flying operations unique to the region; allowing them to become more familiar with the airspace that their Israeli allies are charged to protect.

“It’s important to continue these types of exercises because, one of the great strengths of our Air Force is to be able to work with our partners and increase our interoperability and mutual understanding of each other’s tactics,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Alfaro, 494th Fighter Squadron detachment commander.

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, taxis for a sortie in support of exercise Juniper Falcon May 8, at Uvda Air Base, Israel. Juniper Falcon 17 represents the combination of several bi-lateral component/ Israeli Defense Force exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. These exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Juniper Falcon 17 represents the combination of several bi-lateral component/ Israeli Defense Force exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. These exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces. Juniper Falcon, together with Juniper Cobra (held during opposite years), is part of the annual exercise continuum between United States European Command and the IDF.

Airmen assigned to the 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, make a final pre-flight inspection of an F-15E Strike Eagle in support of exercise Juniper Falcon May 8, at Uvda Air Base, Israel. Juniper Falcon 17 represents the combination of several bi-lateral component/ Israeli Defense Force exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. These exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

493 Fighter Squadron receives Raytheon Trophy

By Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR BASE LAKENHEATH, England — The coveted Raytheon Trophy was awarded to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, May 13, during a celebration at the Duxford Imperial War Museum, England.

Every year, fighter squadrons across the Air Force are judged on their performance across specified mission sets, exercise participation, inspection results, and squadron and individual achievements.

“It is truly an honor for the Grim Reapers to receive this award,” said Lt. Col. Jason Zumwalt, 493rd FS commander. “I have never been a part of an ops and maintenance team that works this well together, and I am extremely proud of the Gold Team’s dedication to accomplishing our mission every day.”

During 2016, the 493rd FS provided 4,858 flying hours throughout the various deployments and exercises they led or participated in.

“Air Superiority is the sole and only purpose of the Grim Reapers, and tonight we are here to celebrate the fact that they are the undisputed best in the world at that calling,” said Col. Evan Pettus, 48th Fighter Wing commander.

The squadron displayed teamwork and dedication to the mission during a grand total of 190 days in 11 allied countries, and by executed 146 days of deployed flying operations while integrating with 22 allied air forces.

“Every day I witness the Grim Reapers pouring their hearts and souls, their sweat and tears into this most sacred of missions,” Pettus said. “[They] are truly our nation’s sword and shield, its sentry and avengers.”

This marks the 5th time the 493rd FS has earned this recognition in 10 years.

The Raytheon trophy was presented to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during a celebration at the Duxford Imperial War Museum, England, May 13. The 493rd FS received the trophy as the U.S. Air Force’s top fighter squadron, and previously won the award in 1997, 1999, 2007 and 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

Medal of Honor recipient Leo K. Thorsness dies at age 85

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Leo Thorsness, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a dogfight over North Vietnam and who later spent six years in the enemy prison camp known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” died May 2 at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 85.

USAF photo

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced his death. The cause was not disclosed.

During the Vietnam War, Col. Thorsness was one of only 13 members of the Air Force to receive the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award for valor. The award was not announced during the six years he was held in North Vietnam, to keep his captors from inflicting additional torture on him and his fellow POWs.

Col. Thorsness was held in the same prison as another downed pilot, John McCain, now a Republican senator from Arizona. In a statement, McCain said Col. Thorsness “never let this experience break his spirit, and inspired the rest of us with his patriotism, perseverance, and hope that we would someday be free.”

Col. Thorsness joined the Air Force in 1952 and was sent to Vietnam in 1966 as a member of a squadron known as the Wild Weasels, whose mission was to destroy surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) based in North Vietnam.

USAF photo

On April 19, 1967, Col. Thorsness was the lead pilot in a strike force of four U.S. F-105 fighter-bombers attacking SAM positions near Hanoi. He and his electronic warfare officer, Harold Johnson, knocked out one site with a missile and scored a direct hit on another with bombs.

But they soon realized that one plane in their group had been hit, and the crew members had ejected. While flying in circles over the parachuting airmen, Col. Thorsness spotted an enemy MiG-17 fighter jet and shot it down.

As U.S. rescue helicopters approached, Col. Thorsness heard through his radio that another MiG formation was nearby. Despite being low on fuel and ammunition, he flew through antiaircraft fire and single-handedly engaged four MiGs in aerial combat for 50 minutes.

Col. Thorsness pursued one MiG, “flying right up his tailpipe,” he said later, and damaged it with cannon fire. Flying as low as 50 feet above the ground and as fast as 900 mph, he chased the other MiGs from the area.

As he returned to his base, he was about to refuel from an airborne tanker when he learned that another F-105 in his group was in even greater need of fuel. Col. Thorsness let the other plane go to the tanker, hoping he could glide back to safety on fumes. When he touched down, his fuel tanks were empty.

Eleven days later, on April 30, Col. Thorsness was shot down over North Vietnam on his 93rd mission. Ejecting from his plane at 600 mph, he suffered serious leg injuries before he and Johnson were taken prisoner.

For the first year, Col. Thorsness was held in solitary confinement and tortured almost every day. His back was broken in four places.

Another Air Force pilot, Fred Cherry, was tortured for teaching Col. Thorsness and other POWs a system of communication by tapping on walls.

While at the Hanoi Hilton, Col. Thorsness shared a tiny cell with McCain and two other men.

“Other than when they took you out to beat you or interrogate you, you were together 24 hours a day,” Col. Thorsness told the Huntsville Times in Alabama in 2008. “You get to know each other so well, talking about your families, failures, weaknesses, hopes and dreams, everything.”

Undated black and white courtesy photo, circa 1962, of of Leo Thorsness, the only living Medal of Honor recipient from Minnesota. Thorsness, who was born in Walnut Grove, Minn., received the Medal of Honor in 1973 for a mission that occurred on April 19, 1967, while he was piloting an F-105 aircraft, the type seen in this picture, in action over North Vietnam. Thorsness defended fellow aircrew who had been shot down from attacks by enemy MIG-17 aircraft. On April 30, 1967, Thorsness himself would be shot down and captured, a captivity that would last six years before he was released. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

He and McCain were released in 1973. Later that year, Col. Thorsness received the Medal of Honor from President Richard M. Nixon; he then retired from the military.

Leo Keith Thorsness was born Feb. 14, 1932, in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and grew up on a family farm. After joining the Air Force, he graduated in 1964 from what is now the University of Nebraska at Omaha and later received a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California.

In 1974 he was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in his wife’s home state of South Dakota. His opponent was incumbent Sen. George S. McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee. He lost by six points.

Four years later, Col. Thorsness lost a race for the U.S. House of Representatives by 139 votes to Tom Daschle, who later became a senator from South Dakota.

After working as an executive for Litton Industries in California, Col. Thorsness moved to a suburb of Seattle. He served in the Washington state senate from 1988 to 1992, then retired to Arizona and later Florida.

In 2015, he condemned President Donald Trump’s campaign comment that McCain was “not a war hero” because “I like people that weren’t captured.”

“Trump owes us an apology,” Col. Thorsness said.

Survivors include his wife since 1953, the former Gaylee Anderson; a daughter; and two grandchildren.

While at the Hanoi Hilton, Col. Thorsness and other prisoners measured their cell, calculating that one mile equaled 225 laps around the cell’s 23-foot circumference.

By walking 60 miles a week, Col. Thorsness figured that he could cover the distance to the United States – 10,000 miles – in about three years.

“All of a sudden it became 100 percent real to us,” he said in 1992. “If we could walk home in our cell, we knew whatever had to happen in the world would happen, and we really would get home.”

USAF photo

32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, group photo 1984

(USAF photo, obtained via Mr. Rick Versteeg)

Can anyone help identifying who is on this photo and let me know at eagle@skytrailer.com many thanks!

144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard participates in Sentry Aloha 17-03

Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing takes-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing prepares to take-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing prepares for take-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing returns after the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing returns after the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing returns after the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing takes-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing takes-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing takes-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing returns after the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing takes-off for the morning sortie at the Honolulu International Airport March 31, 2017 during Sentry Aloha 17-03. Sentry Aloha provides the ANG, Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

Eagle Theater Security Package arrived in Europe / Leeuwarden AB

The 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, comprised of Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard members, arrive to Europe to participate as part of a Theater Security Package at Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, March 28, 2017. While in country, the 122nd EFS will also particpate in Frisian Flag, one of Europe’s largest aerial warfare exercises. For two weeks, fighter aircraft from different countries will carry out various training missions with the focus on international cooperation, international leadership and precision. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Matrine, a crew chief with the 159th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, cleans the canopy on an F-15C Eagle aircraft assigned to the Louisiana Air National Guard at Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, March 28, 2017. The 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, comprised of Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard members, conducted training alongside NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

Maj. Joshua Higgins, 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot, conducts a pre-flight inspection on a F-15C Eagle at Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, March 28, 2017. The 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, comprised of Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard aircraft, will conduct training alongside NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)