The 336th Fighter Squadron is stationed at Seymour-Johnson AFB, North Carolina. In October 1989 the 336th became the first operational F-15E Strike Eagle squadron in the Air Force.
As the first F-15E squadron, the Rocketeers deployed to Southwest Asia on Aug. 9, 1990, in support of Operation Desert Shield. In December 1990, the 336th redeployed to Saudi Arabia in preparation for Operation Desert Storm. On Jan. 16, 1991, the Rocketeers launched 24 aircraft against targets in Iraq to begin Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait. The first night was an unqualified success as the fighting Rocketeers put their bombs on target and returned home safe and sound. By the end of Operation Desert Storm the 336th had flown 1,100 combat sorties, logging 3,200 hours and dropping 6.5 million pounds of ordnance on enemy targets, including a combination of general purpose, cluster and laser-guided bombs.
Since the end of the Gulf War, the 336th has continually participated in exercises such as Maple Flag, Gunsmoke, Combat Hammer, the first night Red Flag, Ocean Venture, Combat Anchor, Quick Force,and numerous in-house exercises to continually hone capabilities.
The Rocketeers rotate to Southwest Asia to enforce the United Nation’s “no-fly” zone in Operation Southern Watch. 336 FS
Deployed to combat areas in Middle East as part of Global War on Terrorism, 2001–presentOn the 18th of July 2009, F-15E tail #90-0231 from the 336th Fighter Squadron crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing the two-man crew, Captain Mark R. McDowell and Thomas J. Gramith. The US military reported that the jet was not downed by enemy action.
In September 2009, F-15 tail # 89-0487 shot down a rogue MQ-9 Reaper in Afghanistan after the drone’s controllers lost control of the robot
336th FS Rockets return from Afghanistan
by Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/17/2011 – SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — A wave of family members and friends wearing yellow clothing, waving flags and holding homemade posters welcoming their loved ones home greeted air crew members returning from a six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom March 16.
The F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and weapon systems officers from the 336th Fighter Squadron deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, to provide close air support for ground troops across the country.
While their spouses were deployed to a distant land with the task of saving the lives of those on the ground, Rocket wives were hard at work maintaining status quo on the home front. For Rebecca LaFountain this meant establishing a schedule for her and her daughter, Gwendolyn. “Everyday we went out to do things like play dates and working out,” said Mrs. LaFountain, the wife of Capt. Andrew LaFountain. This is the couple’s second deployment. While the 336th FS WSO was gone supporting Operations Enduring Freedom, the family made a point to stay in close contact with one another.
“We Skyped three or four times a week, talked on the phone, e-mailed and mailed letters back and forth,” she said.
Mrs. LaFountain encourages other military spouses about to face their first deployment to do the same.
“Find ways to stay busy,” she said. “Set a schedule, it really helps to pass the time.”
Navy Chief Warrant Officer Bob Clift has faced a number of deployments in his more than 30 years of military service. Nearly a year ago he was deployed aboard the USS Eisenhower, while his son-in-law and son were both deployed. This year he and his son-in-law both made it to Seymour Johnson to see the jet his son, Capt. Adam Clift, a 336th FS WSO, was in safely return home. “It feels awesome, I have always been the guy everyone has waited for,” Chief Warrant Officer Clift said. “We are grateful to see them return. I know how dangerous it is over there. I am extremely happy.”
After stepping off the plane Capt. Jason Houston was welcomed home with tight hugs by his wife, Mary, and daughter, Isabella. “It feels kind of surreal to be home,” said the 336th FS pilot. The amount of time that had passed while he was gone hit him when he seen how much his daughter had grown during his deployment, he said.
“We feel very blessed to have him home safe and sound,” Mrs. Houston said. “It was a long 203 days.”
As the month comes to a close the remaining Airmen deployed from the 336th Fighter Squadron will return home to the welcoming arms of their loved ones and warm smiles of their friend