The 550th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron “Sliver Eagles” was stationed at Luke AFB, Arizona. The 550th TFTS started operating the F-15A/B in …..( I ma looking for more information of the 550th TFTS in the F-15A/B/C/D era).
On May 12th 1989 the 550th TFTS “Silver Eagles” also became operational as an F-15E RTU squadron. The task of the 550th in the F-15E role was to take experienced pilots and WSO’s and train them to fly the F-15E. Once qualified the crews were then relocated to an operational squadron at the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing located at Seymour-Johnson AFB, North Carolina. After the changes of the Wing structure in 1994 the 550th FS was the last F-15 unit at Luke AFB. Looking at the costs made and efficiency it proofed to be much more effective as the unit would operated with an All-15 wing. So in late 1994 the F-15E’s from the 550th FS started leaving Luke AFB to the newly formed 333 FS (RTU) at Seymour-Johnson AFB. The last crews graduated at Luke AFB in February 1995 and the last F-15E left Luke AFB in March closing an era of 21 years F-15’s at Luke AFB making it an all-F-16 base.
(Official Air Force News bulletin)
Last F-15E’s leave Luke
LUKE AFB, Ariz. (AFNS) — With a wave of their wings as they climbed into the Arizona morning sun March 21, the last F-15E Strike Eagles bid farewell to Luke and ended their 21-year relationship with the world’s premier fighter training installation.
The historical relationship between Luke and the F-15 Eagle began when the Air Force’s first F-15 was delivered to Luke Nov. 14, 1974. The Eagle’s arrival at Luke was met by a host of national and state officials, including then-President Gerald Ford.
Most of Luke’s Strike Eagles have gone to the 333rd Fighter Squadron at Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C., but six of the squadron’s aircraft joined the 391st FS at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.
Approximately 120 of the 550th FS original complement of 500 people will receive reassignments to Luke with most of those to join the newly activated 311th FS. The remaining people will receive assignments to Mountain Home and Seymour-Johnson.
The existing squadron support and maintenance facilities at Luke are earmarked for a new F-16 Taiwanese training squadron coming on-line in 1996.
“It kind of brings a tear to my eye” said Lt. Col. Tom “Tex” Mascot, 550th commander. “F-15 training has been going on here since November of 1974 when the first Eagle arrived, and every F-15E crewman has trained here.”