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.
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.
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.
“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….
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
NATO’s three most advanced combat planes flying together during exercise.
The photographs in this post were taken recently in the skies near Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
They show a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, a Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon and a French Air Force Dassault Rafale, flying together during the inaugural Trilateral anti-access/area denial exercise scheduled for Dec. 2 – 18.
Hosted by the 1st FW (Fighter Wing), the East Coast drills focus on integrated operations with the aim to gain an understanding of the required tactics, techniques, procedures as well as logistics and support associated with fighting in a highly-contested scenario made of layered long-range air defenses.
To make things even more realistic, the exercise does not only feature the NATO’s premiere combat aircraft but also a wide variety of supporting assets: along with the “Bad Guys” (U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and the Langley-based T-38 Talons that always train against the Raptor stealth fighter) there are U.S. E-3 AWACS as well as U.S. and French Air Force tankers.
According to U.S. Air Force Col. Pete Fesler, the commander of the 1st FW: “The RAF and FrAF are our vital strategic partners and allies in the current fight against extremism, and will be in any foreseeable future conflict,” said Fesler. “The trilateral exercise gives us an opportunity to train together in realistic counter-air and strike scenarios. This training is critical to ensure that we have day-one interoperability for future contingency operations.”
As we have recently explained, thanks to its privileged position onboard a tanker, the boomer has a unique place from which he can take interesting photos of military aircraft.
Taken by photographers MSgt. David Loeffler and SSgt. Christian Jadot from the boomer position, these cool shots prove once again this claim.
Taken during Exercise Vigilant Shield 16, which took place from Oct. 15 to Oct. 26 and involved approximately 700 members from the Canadian Armed Forces, the United States Air Force, United States Navy and the United States Air National Guard, the following pictures show F-15C Eagles assigned to 194th Fighter Squadron from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.