Tag Archives: Barnes Air National Guard Base

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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Impressive photo shows F-22 stealth jet dogfighting against F-15 at close range

Aerial combat between U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and F-15 Eagles, seen from the inside.

The image in this post was taken from a U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the 131st Fighter Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, during a close range aerial combat exercise against a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor from the 154th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

You can clearly see the two planes maneuvering at very close range, pulling Gs, with the F-22 releasing flares counter measures against (simulated) heat seeking air-to-air missiles.

The dogfight took place off the coast of Penang, Malaysia, Jun. 16, 2014, during “Cope Taufan 2014” a biennial LFE (large force employment) exercise taking place June 9 to 20 designed to improve U.S. and Malaysian combined readiness.

Both aircraft are currently deployed to Royal Malaysian Air Force P.U. Butterworth, Malaysia.

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The exercise, that marks the F-22’s first deployment to Southeast Asia, featured also some interesting mixed formation between U.S. planes with Royal Malaysian Air Force MIG-29N Fulcrum, Su-30 and F-18 Hornet jets.

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Image credit: U.S. Air Force

It’s not clear whether the F-22 has flown DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) against Malaysian Migs or Sukhois; if this is the case, it would be interesting to know which ROE (Rules Of Engagement) were applied and the outcome of the confrontations between the Russian multirole planes and the U.S. most advanced fighters.

 

Audio: U.S. Air Force F-15s scramble to intercept United Airlines Boeing 767 with "suspicious package" onboard

On Jul. 31, two F-15s were scrambled from Barnes Air National Guard Base, when United Airlines Flight 956, a Boeing 767 with registration N654UA and 157 passengers on board, flying from Newark to Geneva, informed Boston Air Route Control Center that they had found a “suspicious package” on board and needed to divert to Boston Logan aiport.

Slam 31 and 32 (these were the radio callsigns of the fighter jets) were scrambled at approximately 00.39Z but shortly after take-off Slam 31 suffered an avionics system failure, resulting in him having to return to base and declare an In-Flight Emergency.

Since Slam 31 could not autonomously fly through the bad weather as it lacked any navigational assistance from the onboard systems, Slam 32 escorted the leader back to the base.

Although the two F-15s failed to intercept the jet liner, the Boeing 767 landed safely at Boston Logan airport at about 21.15 local time when it became clear that the “bomb scare” that had compelled the plane to return to the U.S. when it was just off the coast of Nova Scotia, was a digital camera stuffed in a seat back pocket whose owner could not be found.

Aaron Perry digged out of LiveATC archives the radio communications between Barnes ANGB Tower and SLAM 32 getting clearances for the scramble.

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Here’s the transcript of the radio comms:

SLAM 32: “Westfield Tower, SLAM 32, active air alert, scramble. Taxi and take-off, Runway 20. Singles then one to follow.

“Westfield Tower: “SLAM 31/32 roger, cleared to the TOI 085 at 232 miles, cleared for take-off, Runway 20, change departure frequencies, left turn 090, climb and maintain niner thousand.”

SLAM32: “SLAM 32, nine thousand, 090, cleared for take-off.”

Westfield Tower: “31 squawk 7574, 32 squawk 7575.”

SLAM 32: “SLAM 32, 7575.”

Westfield Tower: “31/32 departure end cable indicate (???)”

SLAM 32: “32 copies, departure end cable.”

Westfield Tower: “Slam 31/32 the wind is calm, the altimeter 29.93, you can switch departure frequency.”

[Read also: US Air Defense response to the September 11 attacks: known and unknown facts]