“Hat in the Ring”

The 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron stationed at Langley AFB, Virginia received it first F-15A/B’s in 1975 being one of the first operational F-15 squadrons. In the early 1980’s the 94th TFS transitioned to the F-15C/D models.

94TH_FIGThe first sorties flown in the Eagle by the 94th the 94th re launched in November 1976. The squadron became combat-ready in early 1977. Since then, the 94th TFS has upheld its proud tradition. In 1977, the 94th the 94th nt to Red Flag at Nellis AFB, Nevada. That same year, the 94th participated in Project Ready, the training of 83 USAFE pilots from the 36th TFW, Bitburg Air Base, Germany. Spring of 1978 saw the 94th make the first F-15 operational deployment to PACAF, a trip including stops in Hawaii, Korea, Okinawa, and the Philippines. Later that summer, the 94th was back at Red Flag.

Late in October 1978, a squadron-sized unit deployed to Soesterberg AB, Netherlands, for exercise Coronet Sandpiper. For two months, the 94th maintained a NATO alert commitment for the 32nd TFS.

The 94th TFS sent 8 pilots and 125 maintainers to Saudi Arabia to support Desert Shield/Storm. The Spads the 94th nt to support Operation Southern Watch (OSW) for the first time in August 1992. In 1993, the 94th was redesignated the 94th Fighter Squadron. the 94th  returned for another 90 day trip to Dhahran in October 1993. In April 94, the 94th  returned to Jordan. Then in June of 1995, the 94th  took another three-month TDY to OSW. During the summer of 1996, the Spads participated in Air Expeditionary Force II (AEF II). the 94th  took 12 F-15’s from Langley to Shaheed Mwaffaq AB, Azraq Jordan, and participated in AEF II from 12 April through 28 June. In December 1996, the 94th was again off to support the No-Fly zone in Iraq, but this trip would be spent in support of Operation Provide Comfort (OPC) in Incirlik Turkey. October 1997 found the Spads again in Saudi Arabia, but now the 94th  the 94th re at Prince Sultan Air Base in Al Kharj. the 94th continues to provide the United States Air Superiority, any time, any place

December 16, 2005 marked another historic marker for the 94th Fighter Squadron with the final flight of the F-15 Eagle and began the transition to the F-22A. The 94th Fighter Squadron today stands as a cohesive combat experienced team ready for any call to support our nation’s security requirements. Air dominance — anytime, anywhere.

94_FS

94th Fighter Squadron, The Eagle Has Landed For Good.

December 17, 2005HAMPTON — The F-15C takes a symbolic final flight as the unit at Langley prepares to switch to the F-22A Raptor.

At 11:32 Friday morning, Airman First Class Ryan Thomas slashed his right hand across his throat, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson cut power and the 94th Fighter Squadron went out of the F-15C business.

The squadron is next up to receive the F-22A Raptor in a transition that will take more than a year.It will follow the 27th Fighter Squadron, which was declared ready to receive a Raptor mission Thursday.

It was a day of nostalgia for the 94th at Langley Air Force Base, but Johnson took no credit for his role in the symbolic last flight, which began as a standard training mission with six F- 15s in the air and ended with him touching down last.

“Ordinarily it would have been our squadron commander, but he’s not an F-15 pilot,” said Johnson.

“He’s an F-22 pilot, so it fell to me to have the honor to do that as the second-in-command.

Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, the squadron commander, has already gone through Raptor training.

“This was nothing about me,” said Johnson, who ended his day by being named commander of the Operational Support Squadron of the First Fighter Wing. “It’s for all who have flown before us, who have done all this work standing this plane up in ’76 and getting it to (Initial Operational Capable) in ’77.”

Among those bringing the Eagle on line almost 30 years ago was now-retired Col. Mike Ridnouer, on hand Friday to tell stories. He was the first F- 15C mission-ready pilot in the 94th after switching over from the 27th Squadron “because it was like a tour in Korea then,” he said, laughing.

Since then, the 94th has flown 160,000 F-15C sorties totaling 270,000 hours, according to Capt. Tom Preston, officer in charge of the maintenance unit. By his reckoning, the F-15C was the 34th airplane flown by the “Spads” — the name is for a French-built fighter of the day — since the squadron’s inception in 1917.

Smith will remain as commander of the 94th, which has one other pilot checked out on the Raptor.

The remainder of the pilots and airplanes move to the 71st Fighter Squadron, which will be the last F-15 unit at Langley.

Some will go on to Raptor training, others to other units. One, Capt. Mark Porcella, flew his last Air Force mission as part of the six-Eagle training flight and paid for it with a dousing, courtesy of a fire hose.

A bottle of champagne — Dom Perignon ’92 — was also involved.

The airplanes are being taken from Langley in shifts, mostly replacing aircraft on station in Japan. A flight of six F-15Cs went out Wednesday.

“They’re probably touching down there about now,” said Johnson, looking at his watch.

Others will go out two at a time until the standard complement of 24 airplanes remains with the 71st.

The 94th will start getting Raptors and pilots in March or April once its neighbor, the 27th, has a full complement of 24 planes and 32 pilots. The 27th had 16 planes and 24 pilots as of Friday.