Operation Quick Draw

A large-scale aircraft generation exercise took place on Dec. 21, 2017 at the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, Calif. The Airmen of the wing exceeded expectations by generating and launching 16 of 16 F-15 Eagle fighter jets with just a 24-hour notice.

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

(Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

Baltic Air Policing 2017 part I

493rd FS F-15’s  are currently stationed in Lithuania, supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission. 17 NATO Allies have so far provided fighter assets to the BAP since its inception in 2004.
NATO Air Policing is a 24/7 peacetime collective defensive mission overseen by HQ Allied Air Command.
Footage includes shots of F-15s taking off, crew carrying out maintenance and a soundbite from Colonel Clinton Guenther, U.S. Air Force.

389th flies in Checkered Flag

By Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs 

A pilot and weapons systems officer prepare for takeoff during Checkered Flag 18-1 Nov. 14, 2017, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Checkered Flag gave fourth generation and fifth generation aircraft the opportunity to integrate together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Aircraft and Airmen from across the Air Force have been training alongside one another in participation of Checkered Flag 18-1 here at Tyndall Air Force Base.

Checkered Flag acts as an integration between fourth generation and fifth generation aircraft, giving them the ability to work in conjunction with each other. It focuses solely on protecting the United States and its assets from air-to-air threats.This exercise has many benefits such as open airspace which allows pilots to “stretch their legs” and allows them to work along side newer airframes. This airspace expands over the water which is unique to other airspace. “They’re able to put together a bigger airspace for us than is available in the Nellis test and training range which means you can bring together more effectively much larger numbers of aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Mark Nyberg, 389th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations.

F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho sit on the flightline of Tyndall AFB, Fla. during Checkered Flag 18-1 Nov. 14, 2017. Checkered Flag is an exercise that specializes in air-to-air combat training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

Staff Sgt. Jamie Morgan, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, inspects an F-15E Strike Eagle before takeoff during Checkered Flag 18-1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Nov. 6, 2017. Checkered Flag is an exercise that specializes in air-to-air combat training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

Checkered Flag gives participants an opportunity to synchronize with other aircraft in a way that isn’t normally given to them. “I think the most important part is to expose our aircrew to integration primarily with F-22s and F-35s,” Nyberg said.

Fourth generation aircraft getting the opportunity to integrate with fifth generation aircraft is what fully allows our Air Force to be ready for anything that may come our way.

Staff Sgt. Jamie Morgan, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, inspects the cockpit of an F-15E Strike Eagle during Checkered Flag 18-1 Nov. 14, 2017, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Checkered Flag is an exercise that specializes in air-to-air combat training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

A pilot preforms a pre-check before takeoff during Checkered Flag 18-1 Nov. 14, 2017, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Checkered Flag is an exercise that specializes in air-to-air combat training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

“You never know what kind of environment you’ll be flying in to or what will be approaching us,” said Senior Master Sgt. Travis Patterson, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit lead production superintendent. “For us, it’s really important to protect our nation’s shores. One example is 9/11 or going into a contested environment where we don’t really know what the threat is, whether its’s air-to-air or air-to-ground but at least we have the capability to fight our way going into a combat scenario.”

336th EFS sets tone for new phase of OIR

By Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing

SOUTHWEST ASIA —

The first F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia late last month, kicking off a unique new phase of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 336th EFS, supported and directed by the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, will serve as the primary source of air power in the region== performing targeted air strikes, defensive counter-air measures, and precision close-air support for Coalition forces on the ground.

Aircrew members assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform pre-flight checks prior to flying a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The squadron’s primary objective is the protection and support of Coalition forces on the ground via precision strikes and defensive counter-air operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

“Our team is thrilled to be here doing our part to support the Coalition,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson, 336th EFS commander. “We’ve been training for a long time, not only as a squadron, but as individuals as well, in order to protect our people on the ground.”

The “Rocketeers” arrive in the region after a recent string of victories for the Coalition, highlighted by the liberation of the Islamic State’s claimed capital, Raqqa, in late October. In the past six months, the outgoing 492nd EFS had a major impact on the fight== dropping more than 4,000 bombs and executing two air-to-air kills on adversary drones. Surrounded on all sides, and flushed out of their major strongholds, Air Force leadership expects that remaining ISIS forces will either give up or splinter off into smaller, more desperate, less predictable groups. The 336 EFS will meet the new challenge with a new approach.

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his weapons and survival equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. In addition to the equipment required to safely operate high-performance combat aircraft, aircrew members also carry items designed to help them survive and get to safety in the event of a mishap. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

“What the prior squadron saw, and what we’re seeing as well, is that the fight changes every single day. As it ebbs and flows, it’s important that we’re able to adapt to the mission that’s required of us,” said Swanson. “Though we may not be bombing ISIS compounds every day, there are still tens of thousands of people who need protecting from those who would do them grave harm.”

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares waits for clearance to taxi, prior to a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS arrives in the region after a recent string of major victories for Coalition forces on the ground and will look to capitalize on that momentum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Though ISIS has been expelled from control in most of its former safe-havens, pockets of resistance will persist for some time. Meanwhile, the air space above the region will remain a complicated operations environment as various factions vie for influence over how the region is re-structured. Geopolitics aside, Rocketeer aircrews will remain focused on the task for which they’ve been training the past nine months.

“The prior squadron {492nd EFS} did a great job of reaching back to us as we worked through our training scenarios,” one 336th EFS aircrew member said. “They helped us to realize that while we may expect to drop a lot of bombs, the defensive counter-air mission set is going to be vital going forward.”

As this fight nears its end, the Rocketeers will look to measure their own success not by the number of bombs dropped, but by the effectiveness of their presence in all aspects; most importantly, the protection of the warfighters below.

Crews assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron prepare F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron for sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS, supported by aircraft maintenance professionals, flies combat sorties day and night — protecting Coalition forces as they work towards the elimination of remaining ISIS fighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

RAF Lakenheath “Sky Full”

By Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published November 09, 2017

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England –The grey English skies here were more diverse than usual today, as aircraft from all 48th Fighter Wing flying squadrons took flight.

An F-15C Eagle from the 493nd Fighter Squadron, prepares to land on the flight line at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 6. The 493rd FS currently has F-15C Eagles active in Lithuania, supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

This rare occasion was one of the few times this year HH-60G Pave Hawks from the 56th Rescue Squadron, F-15C Eagles from the 493rd Fighter Squadron and F-15E Strike Eagles from the 492nd and 494th FS were operating in the same airspace at once.

In the past year, Liberty Wing flying squadrons have supported deployments and training exercises across the globe.In fiscal year 2017, the 48th FW flying squadrons flew 8,823 sorties, which amounted to over 14,696 flying hours, a member of the 48th Operations Group said.

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 492nd Fighter Squadron, lands on the flight line at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 6. This year, the 492nd FS was named the winner of the David C. Schilling Award, which recognizes the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight, in the atmosphere or space, by an Air Force military member, Air Force civilian, unit or group of individuals. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

F-15E Strike Eagles from the 494th Fighter Squadron, taxi on the flight line at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 6. This year, the two F-15E Strike Eagle squadrons also celebrated their 25th year of being at the Liberty Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

Col. Evan Pettus, 48th FW commander, said he appreciates the support from the local community during times of flying activity.“We have a great relationship with our host nation partners and community members,” he said. “They understand the importance of these operations, even when the skies get a bit louder than usual.”

The 492nd FS and its F-15E Strike Eagles recently returned from a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

While deployed as the 492nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, the “Bolars” completed over 2,000 missions in support of U.S. Central Command operations.The squadron was also named the winner of the David C. Schilling Award, which recognizes the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight, in the atmosphere or space, by an Air Force military member, Air Force civilian, unit or group of individuals.

The 493rd FS “Grim Reapers” are currently active in Lithuania, supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The squadron also increased interoperability with U.S. allies during exercise Artic Challenge in Finland and Sweden earlier this year.Additionally, the squadron earned the coveted Raytheon Trophy for the fifth time in 10 years for performance across specified mission sets, exercise participation, inspection results and squadron and individual achievements.

The 494th FS deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Falcon May 7 – 22, 2017.

The “Mighty Black Panthers” conducted Defense Counter Air integration training with the Israeli Air Force, designed to improve Israel’s qualitative military edge through air readiness, while building on the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Israel.

This year, the two F-15E Strike Eagle squadrons celebrated their 25th year of being at the Liberty Wing.

An F-15C Eagle from the 493nd Fighter Squadron, lands on the flight line at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 6. This year, 493nd FS earned the coveted Raytheon Trophy for the fifth time in 10 years for performance across specified mission sets, exercise participation, inspection results and squadron and individual achievements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 492nd Fighter Squadron, takes off from the flight line for a training sortie at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 6. The 492nd FS recently returned from a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

Team Kadena Conducts No-Notice Exercise

Four F-15 Eagles from the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons are inspected by crew chiefs before takeoff during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather tactical fighter aircraft that is designed to maintain air superiority in any airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Four F-15 Eagles from the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons are inspected by crew chiefs before takeoff during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather tactical fighter aircraft that is designed to maintain air superiority in any airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

A 67th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle taxis on the flightline during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena AB is home to the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat wing with a fleet of more than 80 combat-ready aircraft to maintain air power, peace, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

A 44th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle taxis on the flightline during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena AB is home to the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat wing with a fleet of more than 80 combat-ready aircraft to maintain air power, peace, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle crewchiefs from the 67th Fighter Squadron prepare an F-15 for takeoff during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena AB F-15 Eagle crew chiefs train night-and-day in all conditions to ensure that their F-15s are combat-ready. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle crewchiefs from the 67th Fighter Squadron prepare F-15s for takeoff during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena AB F-15 Eagle crew chiefs train night-and-day in all conditions to ensure that their F-15s are combat-ready. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

A 44th Fighter Squadron crew chief conducts final inspections for F-15 Eagles during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th Wing at Kadena AB conducts no-notice exercises to ensure Airmen are prepared and trained to conduct operations in a war-time environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

A 67th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle takes off from the runway during a no-notice exercise Oct. 13, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena AB is home to the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat wing with a fleet of more than 80 combat-ready aircraft to maintain air power, peace, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

492nd FS returns from deployment

Airmen and families await the return of the 492nd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Oct. 9. F-15E Strike Eagles and Airmen from the 492nd Fighter Squadron and supporting units across the 48th Fighter Wing returned from a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

By Master Sgt. Eric Burks, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — F-15E Strike Eagles and Airmen from the 492nd Fighter Squadron and supporting units across the 48th Fighter Wing have returned from a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

While deployed as the 492nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, the “Bolars” completed nearly 11,000 flying hours and over 2,000 missions while delivering nearly 4,500 precision-guided munitions in support of U.S. Central Command operations.

F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron return to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Oct. 9, following a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. While deployed, the “Bolars” completed nearly 11,000 flying hours and over 2,000 missions while delivering nearly 4,500 precision-guided munitions in support of U.S. Central Command operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Lt. Col. Jeremy Renken, 492nd FS commander, said it was an incredible deployment on many levels and allowed the F-15E to showcase its full capabilities.

“The squadron had multiple instances of pilots conducting air-to-air intercepts while their weapons systems officers were conducting strikes — not sequentially, but literally at the same time,” he said. “It’s a testament to not only the aircraft and aircrews, but also to the ammo troops, weapons troops, specialists, back shops, and crew chiefs who sent aloft our Strike Eagles and weapons systems that worked flawlessly when there was no margin for error.”

While the squadron was deployed, it was named the winner of the David C. Schilling Award for accomplishments in 2016.

The award, sponsored by the Air Force Association, recognizes “the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight” in the atmosphere or space, by an Air Force military member, Air Force civilian, unit, or group of individuals.