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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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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)

493 FS Reapers wrap-up Red Flag 17-2

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

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 493rd Fighter Squadron, along with supporting units and equipment from the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, completed Red Flag 17-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, March 10.

An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, is prepared for a sortie for exercise Red Flag 17-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Mar. 3. The exercise was designed to simulate the first 10 combat missions pilots would face and reduce risk during their first real world missions due to lack of experience. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

During the two-week exercise, the squadron flew 162 sorties and tallied more than 348 flying hours with 14 F-15 Eagles, which is a new record for a unit of this size at Red Flag.

“The Reapers did great,” said Col. Jason Zumwalt, 493rd FS commander. “We’ve had an outstanding maintenance team giving us great jets every day. We’ve been able to put a lot of aircraft into these fights, and my pilots have gone out there and done very well against an extremely difficulty adversary.”

The Reapers, along with other joint and coalition Red Flag participants, trained above the vast bombing and gunnery ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Range against opposing “aggressors,” who are specially trained to replicate tactics and techniques used by potential adversaries.

A 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airman from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, marshals out an F-15C Eagle for exercise Red Flag 17-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Mar. 3. More than 30 countries have participated directly in a Red Flag exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

“You learn how to be better at what you do,” one 493rd FS pilot said. “From the youngest guy who has just qualified, to the two-ship flight leads, you learn how to be better at your position and how to bring you and your wingmen back from a mission.”

Red Flag provides aircrews and support personnel an opportunity to experience advanced, relevant, and realistic combat-like situations in a controlled environment. The exercise goal is to safely complete missions with an emphasis on disciplined initiatives, prudent risk-taking and comprehensive problem solving against agile adversaries in uncertain, contested environments.

F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, are prepared for a sortie for exercise Red Flag 17-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Mar. 1. The exercise was designed to simulate the first 10 combat missions pilots would face and reduce risk during their first real world missions due to lack of experience. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

“It’s been a great opportunity to take the team on the road, exercise from a deployed environment, and really practice what we would do in an actual combat situation,” Zumwalt said. “I’m very proud of the work that the maintenance support and ops team have done to generate the air power and exercise air superiority over the Nellis ranges.”

An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, soars through the sky in support of exercise Red Flag 17-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Mar. 1. Red Flag is a realistic combat exercise involving U.S. and allied air forces conducting training operations on the 2.9 million acres of Nevada Test and Training Range. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

The 493rd FS will conclude their visit to Nellis by participating in sorties for the U. S. Air Force Weapons School, then continue on to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to take part in the Weapons System Evaluation Program in April.

Kingsley Field takes training on the road, visits Tucson for DACT

By Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar, 173rd Fighter Wing / Published March 02, 2017
KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. —Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing and five F-15 Eagles packed up and left the snow and below freezing weather of Klamath Falls, Oregon and spent two weeks in January training in the temperate Arizona desert. The 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard, hosted the Oregon Air National Guard and spent that time flying dissimilar air combat training.

U.S. Air Force Colonel Jeff Smith, 173rd Fighter Wing Commander, preflights an F-15 Eagle in preperation for a training flight at Tucson, Arizona January 10, 2017. The 173rd Fighter Wing spent two weeks training with the 162nd Wing, Airzona Air National Guard, flying dissimilar air combat training with their F-16s. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

“The 162nd and 173rd have been flying together for years and years,” said Col. Jeff Smith, the 173rd FW Commander. “In many cases, they come up to train with us in the summer when it is really hot here … and in the winter we tend to try and get away from the snow and ice … so we come down here and get training for our instructor pilots.”

The F-15 pilots flew as adversary air, freeing up the F-16 student and instructor pilots to accomplish the training needed and allow them to continue graduating F-16 pilots.

“While at home we aren’t really able to train much due to the snow and ice, so this is an opportunity for us to trade that student training and continue to produce as many fighter pilots for America as we can,” said Smith.

This training not only benefits the 162nd, but the 173rd pilots, maintainers, and support personnel as well. For the F-15 pilots, dissimilar air combat training shakes ups the routine and challenges their basic piloting and fighting skills. For the maintainers and support personnel, packing up their equipment and performing their skill sets away from home station presents challenges and opportunities for growth.

“It’s something a little different then we do on a daily basis,” said Senior Airman Tyler Stanford, 173rd FW F-15 crew chief. “It helps us train to fight against our adversaries and gives a better mission capability.” Stanford also pointed out that training opportunities such as this facilitate a broader range of learning.

Additionally, observing another unit’s operation and daily processes can encourage Airmen to bring back different processes and ideas to improve productivity and efficiencies within their own unit.

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, taxis to the runway in preperation for a training flight at Tucson, Arizona January 12, 2017. The 173rd Fighter Wing spent two weeks training with the 162nd Wing, Airzona Air National Guard, flying dissimilar air combat training with their F-16s. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

“I think we have great examples of how innovation can be sparked by going TDY or deploying;  so many little things are different that you can learn from and figure out how we can adapt them to what we do and improve our processes,” said Smith.

Senior Airman Seena Barleen, 173rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, said she experienced this first hand. “I met with their transportation office, and it was fantastic to see how they do business every day and how it differs from what we do. I am taking back their continuity book and a few ideas to share with my supervisor.”

After a few weeks of training and expanding innovative thinking in the Arizona sunshine, the 173rd FW packed their equipment and people back up and headed back home to snowy Southern Oregon.

67th Fighter Squadron ‘Fighting Cocks’ take to the sky for Cope North 17

By Senior Airman John Linzmeier, 18th Wing Public Affairs / Published February 20, 2017

U.S. Air Force Capt. Lance Coldren, 67th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle pilot, dons aircrew flight equipment during annual exercise Cope North Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 67th FS, from Kadena Air Base, Japan, is conducting a series of flight operations with other units from U.S. Pacific Command, Japan and Australian air forces to increase interoperability and readiness within the theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Lance Coldren, 67th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle pilot, conducts a pre-flight inspection during annual exercise Cope North Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Cope North provides opportunities for aviators from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force to practice combat scenarios in a controlled environment to improve tactics and cohesion among allied units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Lance Coldren, 67th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle pilot, secures his oxygen mask in preparation for a flight during annual exercise Cope North Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Cope North is an annual exercise which serves as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dennis Hatcher, 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, salutes an F-15 Eagle pilot from the 67th Fighter Squadron during annual exercise Cope North Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Aircraft from the 67th FS, and various units from Kadena Air Base, Japan, are training with other Pacific Air Force units and partners from the U.S. Navy and Japan and Australian air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dennis Hatcher, 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, marshals an F-15 Eagle, from the 67th Fighter Squadron, to the flightline during annual exercise Cope North Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Cope North is an annual exercise which serves as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 67th Fighter Squadron taxi down the flightline Feb. 20, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The aircraft temporarily relocated to Guam to train and conduct simulated combat scenarios with regional allies and partners. Cope North is an annual exercise which serves as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier/released)

RAF Lakenheath celebrates 25 years of Strike Eagles

By Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published February 21, 2017

Airmen come and go, and deployment locations change, but over the last quarter of a century, one thing has remained constant at RAF Lakenheath: the combat air power projected throughout Europe and Africa from the 48th Fighter Wing’s F-15E Strike Eagles.

The first F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing lands at RAF Lakenheath Feb. 21, 1992. In the last 25 years, the 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons have supported combat operations in locations including Iraq, the Balkans, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya, and have participated in exercises at more than 20 nations around the world. (Courtesy photo)

First touching down on the Liberty Wing’s runway Feb. 21, 1992, the F-15E has enjoyed 25 years of flying in East Anglia. The 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons are the only two Strike Eagle squadrons in U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

Col. Evan Pettus, 48th FW commander, said the 25th anniversary is a special milestone.

“This milestone is a reminder of the breadth and depth of the U.S. commitment to our partners and allies in NATO,” he said. “The Strike Eagle was our Air Force’s most modern machine when it landed at RAF Lakenheath 25 years ago, and it’s been upgraded continuously ever since. Today’s F-15E is far more lethal than ever before.”

While assigned to RAF Lakenheath, the Strike Eagle squadrons have supported combat operations in locations including Iraq, the Balkans, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya, and have participated in exercises at more than 20 nations around the world.

This F-15E Strike Eagle was the wing’s new flagship upon its arrival at the 48th Fighter Wing, Feb. 21, 1992. F-15E Strike Eagles have enjoyed 25 years of flying in East Anglia while assigned to the 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons at RAF Lakenheath. (Courtesy photo)

“The F-15E will be with us for years to come, and it will continue to play a key role in ongoing combat operations,” Pettus said. “Soon, RAF Lakenheath’s F-15 units will be complimented by two squadrons of fifth generation F-35s, making the Liberty Wing even more capable of delivering decisive airpower to our nation and its allies.”

Lt. Jordan Carr, 67th Fighter Squadron pilot, living his dream

By Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen, 18th Wing Public Affairs / Published February 13, 2017

As a fifth grader growing up in Arkansas, all Jordan Carr could think of was becoming a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

Now 1st Lt. Jordan Carr, 67th Fighter Squadron pilot, has finally achieved his childhood dream.

“We had to do a newspaper article about what we wanted to do for our future career,” said Carr. “I wrote about how when I grew up, I wanted to be a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. From then on, I thought, ‘Ok, now everything I do, I can work toward this and always have a goal, even if it’s super long-term and I’m only a fifth grader, I can make it happen.’”

Throughout all of this time, over 16 years, Carr had support from his family, especially his two older brothers who have successful Air Force careers.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Jordan Carr is a fighter pilot with the 67th Fighter Squadron. As a fighter pilot, Carr assists with maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. Carr has wanted to be a fighter pilot since he was in the fifth grade. Now, almost 16 years later, Carr has finally achieved his childhood goal of becoming a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen/Released)

“It’s impossible to stay the course 100% of the time, so having supportive parents and great role models in my life played the most vital role,” said Carr. “Staying engaged in competitive activities also helped me along the way.”

Carr further stated the guidance and encouragement provided by his family and role models kept him on his path to becoming a fighter pilot.

Carr graduated from the University of Arkansas’ Air Force ROTC program in 2013.

Now, he’s a fighter pilot who’s living out his childhood dream and is living proof of how long-term goals can be achieved.

“It feels great knowing if you set a goal, anything is possible,” said Carr. “Much like any other career, achieving the initial title is just the beginning and now you essentially have a license to learn. Every day is a constant reminder that you can learn something new, polish a skillset, or focus on a weak point in order to better yourself and others.”

As a reminder of his childhood goals, Carr’s mother kept the article from his childhood to the present day.

“When I came out here, my mom framed the newspaper article from fifth grade,” said Carr. “I’m living the dream. There are a lot of fun things about being a fighter pilot. It’s exhilirating to fly fast and be tactically minded during the flight, but it’s also a lot of hard work.”

In addition to flying, Carr monitors several additional duties. Although it’s hard work, Carr commented he enjoys his job and finds it rewarding.

“Carr’s most notable characteristic is his positivity,” said Capt. Gregory Schroeder, 67th FS weapons officer. “He’s never pessimistic and his positive demeanor influences everybody else. He works with maintainers frequently and is a great wingman.”

Carr enjoys working with maintainers because it provides him with an opportunity to share his enthusiasm about his job.

“One of my favorite parts of the job is being able to share it with others,” said Carr. “When we do incentive flights for the maintainers, you’re able to showcase what their hard work is going toward. It’s an awesome way to thank them.”

Carr said he also enjoys sharing information about his job with his family.

“It’s always fun to tell them what’s going on,” said Carr. “Especially when my two older brothers speak the language (of being a pilot) and we can talk about the nature of the work and the fun things about it.”

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Jordan Carr, 67th Fighter Squadron pilot, gives a thumbs-up as he leaves refueling hot pits during a surge operation Jan. 11, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. During surge operations, pilots make stops at hot pits to have their aircraft refueled to continue sortie production. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen/Released)

Carr mentioned even though his job is fun, he is constantly studying and perfecting his skill.

“The 18th Wing is successful because Airmen like 1st Lt. Carr are not satisfied with the status quo,” said Capt. Robert Hendrick, 67th FS assistant director of operations. “He has spent long hours during the week and many weekends at the squadron preparing for training missions and ensuring the rest of the squadron has the tactical tools to succeed.”

Hendrick further commented Carr’s dedication helps the 67th FS maintain a tactical edge and contributes to 18th Wing mission success.

“There are a lot of little cogs that make up the big picture,” said Carr. “I think it’s easy to get tunnel vision, so it’s important to step back and realize we’re all part of a team. No community is better than another. Remaining humble keeps our (Eagle) team performing at a high level while encouraging positive integration with other units.”

Congratulations to Lt. Col. Paul Shamy, 123rd Fighter Squadron, reaching 2000 flying

Lt. Col. Paul Shamy, 123rd Fighter Squadron, reaches 2000 flying hours during the Sentry Savannah 17-2 exercise, Savannah, Ga., Feb. 7, 2017, credit USAF photo