Tag Archives: 104th Fighter Wing

U.S. F-15s and Romanian MiG-21s taking part in Dacian Eagle 2016 exercise in eastern Europe

Eagles and LanceRs at Campia Turzii airbase.

On Jul. 2, eight F-15C Eagles belonging to the 131st Fighter Squadron, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, and the 194th Fighter Squadron, Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, depolyed to the 71st airbase Campia Turzii, Romania, to take part in exercise Dacian Eagle 2016.

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The Eagles belong to the latest iteration of a Theater Security Package (TSP), a temporary deployment from CONUS (Continental US) of a force whose aim is to augment the Air Force presence in a specific region, for deterrence purposes: the F-15Cs are spending 6 months in the European theater for a support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

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The arrival of these F-15s occurred on the same day the Romanian Air Force MiG-21s returned home after a few months deployment at the 95th Airbase in Bacau, while the runway at Campia Turzii was being repaired.

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Both aircraft types will take part in Dacian Eagle between July and September.

According to the Romanian Air Force, along with 200 American personnel from the California and Massachusetts ANG, more than 200 romanian pilots and technical personnel from the 71st Airbase are taking part with MiG 21 LancerRs and IAR 330 Puma helicopters (SOCAT and MEDEVAC) in the traditional drills at the 71st airbase with the purpose of increasing the level of preparation and interoperability between the participants.

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“The excercise is an opportunity to practice the techniques, tactics and standard procedures common in air operations, according to NATO standards by performing flights in cooperations with the American partners” and to deter further Russian aggression….

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The LanceRs are modernized MiG-21s that were given new avionics for all-weather operations, more modern avionics and the ability to employ PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).

Although they have a limited endurance (30-45 minutes “play time”), the LanceRs are fast and maneuverable and quite good to perform the adversary role against more modern fighters.

They will start being replaced by F-16 MLUs starting this autumn.
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Image credit: Liviu Dnistran

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U.S. F-15s have “dominated the skies” during Frisian Flag exercise in Central Europe

Air National Guard Eagles have taken part in one of the largest exercises in Europe before heading to Bulgaria.

Eight F-15C/D Eagle aircraft and supporting personnel from the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, and the 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, have taken part to Frisian Flag exercise from Leeuwarden airbase, Netherlands, between Apr. 11 and 22.

The American air superiority aircraft belong to the contingent of a dozen F-15s (four were deployed to Iceland to provide air policing duties) that will remain in the European theater for a 6-month tour in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve as part of the latest iteration of a Theater Security Package (TSP), a temporary deployment from CONUS (Continental US) of a force whose aim is to augment the Air Force presence in a specific region, for deterrence purposes.

This TSP, in particular, “will […] demonstrate the U.S. commitment to a Europe that is whole, free, at peace, secure, and prosperous and to deter further Russian aggression

The 8 F-15s of the 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron that attended the 12-day Royal Netherlands Air Force Frisian Flag 2016 exercise “dominated the skies” according to a U.S. Air Force release.

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The F-15 proved to be the preeminent air superiority fighter, while the highly trained support staff and expert maintainers ensured 98% aircraft availability. “The jets and personnel have exceeded performance expectations and our international partners have repeatedly complimented the professional and lethal performance of the 131st,” said Lt. Col. David Halasi-Kun, 131st EFS detachment commander.

The aim of the exercise was to practice multination MFFO (mixed fighter force operations) against realistic airborne, ground and naval threats to validate tactics and improve cooperation.

F-16s belonging to the KLu, Polish Air Force, Belgian Air Force, Royal Danish Air Force, F/A-18 Hornet from the Finnish Air Force, RAF Tornados, German Typhoons, French Mirage 2000D and N jets took part in the exercise along with the U.S. F-15s.

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Interestingly, one of the F-15s can also be seen in the image below carrying a SNIPER ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod): the TGT pods are used by interceptors to watch the enemy from distance without using the radar to “paint” it.

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After the FF2016 came to an end, the 131st EFS redeployed to Bulgaria “to continue its overall mission to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to a Europe that is whole, free, at peace, secure, prosperous and able to deter aggression.”

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Image credit: Marco Ferrageau

 

U.S. Air Force F-15C crashes in Virginia

104th Fighter Wing F-15C crashed earlier today in in Virginia’s Augusta County.

A pilot is still missing after a 104th Fighter Wing F-15C jet went down during a cross country mission.

At approximately 9:05 a.m. LT on Aug. 27, radio contact with an F-15C was lost as the unarmed aircraft was flying over the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. According to the 104th FW Press Release, the pilot flying the Eagle aircraft reported an inflight emergency prior to radio contact being lost.

The aircraft crashed in a remote, wooded area not far from the Virginia-West Virginia border. Even though the status of the pilot is still unknown, there are unverified reports by witnesses that saw an ejection and subsequent chute.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force