389 FS red flagThe 389th Fighter Squadron is stationed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. The 389th FS operates the F-15E. The 389st received their first F-15s from the 90th FS in the end of 2006 as part of the new structuring of the USAF. This makes the 366th Wing an all-out F-15 Eagle Wing, similar to the 48th FW.

The 389 FS “Thunderbolts” plan and conduct F-15E operations and contingency plans. The squadron maintains combat readiness of 71 personnel and 20 F-15E aircraft for short-notice, worldwide AEF operations. The squadron is mission ready to perform close air support, interdiction, strategic attack, suppression of enemy air defense and defensive counterair missions, employing the full array of U.S. Air Force capabilities including precision-guided munitions, inertially-aided munitions, night vision goggles, fighter data link and Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN).

389th Fighter Squadron deploys in support of OEF.

by Senior Airman Alyssa C. Wallace
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

3/7/2011 – MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — More than 400 MHAFB Airmen deployed March 7 to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Although the group is comprised of Gunfighters from different 366th Fighter Wing agencies, a large portion of the group consists of members of the 389th Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit. This will be the 389th’s first deployment as a squadron into the Southwest Asia area of responsibility, where they will conduct combat operations. The squadron has conducted several months of training in preparation of this task.

“We have been conducting Airman comprehensive spin-up training for the last six months, which includes ground, aerial and special skills training,” said Lt. Col. Chris Sage, 389th FS commander.

Col. Ron Buckley, 366th FW commander, says the local area’s phenomenal air space has allowed Gunfighters to train to the highest level of performance as they prepare to conduct their area of responsibility’s mission.

“One of the things we’ve been doing in order to prepare for this deployment is flying over some of the urban areas like Boise because they’re going to see those kinds of environments while they are downrange, and we need to be able to train them to that level,” Colonel Buckley said. “I am extremely proud — I know they are fully prepared and ready to go.”

Those deploying are not the only ones who have been preparing for this deployment as spouses and dependents have been gearing up to live without a family member for the duration of this deployment.

“It’s a sacrifice that we ask of the family when our members deploy, but the wing does a great job of taking care of the families while the members are deployed,” Colonel Buckley said.

The MHAFB Airman and Family Readiness Center is one major outlet family members of deployed Airmen have to help cope.

“Most of our spouses, they’re prepared, they’re ready — they train for deployments just like the member trains,” said Master Sgt. Ebony Stepp, A&FRC readiness noncommissioned officer. “But as always, we’re here to take care of our family as our main goal is to give them the tools and the guidance they need to get through that deployment. We reach out to the member, spouses, parents — whoever may be concerned about that deployer. So overall, we’re just here to serve and assist them with whatever they need during that separation.”

The center has counselors who can work with children if they are in need.

“Some kids have a hard time being separated from mommy or daddy, so the counselor will work with them on different activities they can do while mommy or daddy is deployed.”

Although leaving loved ones at home may be stressful, Colonel Sage says overall, the squadron is excited to answer its nation’s call.

“I’m very proud to lead the men and women of the 389th FS downrange for this deployment,” he said. “We’re all excited, we’ve been preparing for six months and we’re ready to get on the road and take care of the mission. This is the first time that the F-15E Strike Eagles and the 389th have deployed into combat together. It’s a historic time for this base, our squadron and frankly, a historic time for our nation as we continue to defend our way of life and protect the homeland by taking the fight to the enemy downrange.”

389th FS returns home from Red Flag

by Senior Airman Megan P. Lyon
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

1/31/2008 – MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — 18  F-15E Strike Eagles and 170 Airmen from the 389th Fighter Squadron and other wing units returned to Mountain Home AFB Jan. 26 after a successful completion of Red Flag at Nellis AFB, Nev.

Red Flag is a two-week, multi-national, advanced aerial combat training exercise that takes place at only two bases in the Air Force: Nellis AFB and Eielson AFB, Alaska.

“Red Flag was a big test for us,” said Lt. Col. Richard Coe, 389th FS commander. “Only nine months ago the 389th FS was converted from an F-16 squadron to an F-15E squadron. Our only other deployment was to Combat Archer this past November. Red Flag is a more robust training scenario, built to test all of our multirole capabilities.”

During Red Flag, participants played as the blue force versus a fictional enemy, the red force. The opposing teams faced-off in realistic combat situations to improve their ability to target and defeat hostile air, surface-to-air, space and information threats from enemies.

“Red Flag began as a way to save pilots’ lives during the Vietnam War,” said Maj. Allan Nilles, 389th FS assistant director of operations. “During the war, statistics were showing that most pilots that died did so during their first 10 combat missions. Red Flag offered pilots the opportunity to fly 10 realistic combat missions in a safe training environment.”

“Over 50 percent of our aircrew had never been to Red Flag,” said Colonel Coe. “Many of those same crews are brand new and only recently achieved combat-ready status. I am so proud of what the squadron accomplished and they way they professionally executed the mission. Everyone did an outstanding job.”

Over nine days the Airmen’s experiences included night flying, engaging hostile targets, flying tactical missions and live bomb drops.

“We hit 100 percent of our heavyweight deliveries,” said Colonel Coe.
“It was textbook execution.”

In addition to playing the host wing and having Col. Mark Kelly, 366th Fighter Wing vice commander, acting as the Red Flag air expeditionary wing commander, Mountain Home AFB also provided core elements, such as weather, intelligence, operations and maintenance personnel.

“Everybody worked hard, especially the maintainers,” said Colonel Coe. “During the entire duration of the deployment, we never lost a sortie due to maintenance issues.”

Airmen not only worked with fellow U.S. Air Force Airmen but with the Republic of Singapore Air Force, flying F-16s from Luke AFB, Canada’s Air Force, flying CC-130 Hercules aircraft and NATO personnel flying the E-3 Sentry, an airborne warning and control system aircraft. It also marked the first time the 389th FS flew large force integration missions with the F-22 Raptors from Langley AFB, Va.

“This was my seventh Red Flag in my 18 years in the Air Force and it was the best performance I’ve seen,” said Colonel Coe. “Considering the level of experience of our Ops and Maintenance folks, what we accomplished was truly incredible. Once again, Gunfighters are leading the way in our Air Force.

An F-15E Strike Eagle touches down on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 4. The F-15's from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, make up the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron; a total of 12 F-15’s deployed to Andersen for a four month long tour for their scheduled AEF rotation. (U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Cory Todd)

An F-15E Strike Eagle touches down on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 4. The F-15’s from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, make up the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron; a total of 12 F-15’s deployed to Andersen for a four month long tour for their scheduled AEF rotation. (U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Cory Todd)