Nellis AFB Strike Eagles: the 17th Weapons Squadron’s F-15Es at work
Part of the 57th Wing, U.S. Air Force’s largest composite wing (that oversees all flying ops at Nellis AFB, Nevada, including the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises), the USAF Weapons School teaches graduate-level instructor courses to officers of the combat and mobility air forces.
It is made of 17 squadrons, 10 of those based at Nellis and seven geographically separated: the ten USAFWS squadrons based at Nellis are the 8 WPS (Command and Control Operations), 16 WPS (F-16), 17 WPS (F-15E), 19 WPS (Intelligence), 26 WPS (MQ-1/MQ-9), 34 WPS (HH-60), 57 WPSS (Operational Support), 66 WPS (A-10), 328 WPS (Space/ICBM), and 433 WPS (F-15C/F-22). The remaining seven units not located at Nellis include the 14 WPS at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (AC-130/MC-130/U-28); 29 WPS at Little Rock AFB, Ark. (C-130); 57 WPS at McGuire AFB, N.J. (C-17); 77 WPS at Dyess AFB, Texas (B-1); 325 WPS at Whiteman AFB, Mo. (B-2); 340 WPS at Barksdale AFB, La. (B-52); and the 509 WPS at Fairchild AFB, Wash. (KC-135).
The School produces approximately 80 graduates every six months: expert instructors on weapons, weapons systems, and air and space integration trained through a course including an average of 400 hours of lessons and a two-week air campaign/battle staged over the Nevada Test and Training Range.
Since the Aggressors’ F-15s and F-16s are the most famous and very well known planes of the 57th Wing (see the related articles at the bottom of this post to find the previous posts dealing with the 64 AGRS and 65 AGRS), I asked Tony Lovelock, The Aviationist’s special correspondent at Red Flag 12-2 and 12-3, to take some pictures of the less known 17 WPS (Weapons Squadron) F-15E Strike Eagles at work.
Here’s a selection of the most interesting photographs he brought back from Nellis AFB.
- More than 70 combat planes involved twice a day in world’s most realistic training exercise: welcome to the Red Flag 12-3 (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: Tailhook landing….in the desert. By a U.S. Air Force F-15 (theaviationist.com)
- New Nellis Aggressors F-15′s “splinter” color scheme inspired by Sukhoi Su-35S (and PAK-FA) camouflage (theaviationist.com)
- Nellis Aggressors’ F-15 in new “splinter” color scheme at Red Flag 12-2 (theaviationist.com)
- More fancy Nellis’s Aggressors color schemes: “Blizzard” and “Arctic” F-16C (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: MC-12W spyplane specialized in “find, fix, and finish” bad guys at its Red Flag debut (theaviationist.com)