Posts Tagged ‘f-15e’
A large model of an F-15E “Strike Eagle Fighter now lies at the outdoor display near the Museum’s Eagle Building South entrance doorway of the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia. As manufactured and donated by the Boeing Company, the F-15E is the second large model aircraft they have donated to the Museum for its front entrance – last June 2011, they donated a C-17 model. Officials from the Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, came to the Museum last April to help dedicate the model and make a separate cash donation worth $7,000 to the Museum.
During the ribbon cutting, the following Senior Boeing Company representatives were present during the event; from St. Louis were Ms. Julie Praiss, Vice President, Tactical Aircraft and Weapons Systems (Sustainment); Mr. Geoff Wilson, Director, F-15 Support Programs; Mr. Kevin Pennington, U.S. Air Force F-15 Support Program; Mr. Brian Schubert, F-15 Support Programs Business Development and Lori J. Moore, Communications, Global Services & Support. Representing Boeing Macon was John Howell.
Colonel Mitch Butikofer, Commander of the 78th Air Base Wing accepted the donation on behalf of the U.S. Air Force Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base. Kenneth Emery, Museum Director welcomed those at the ceremony which included Col. Evan Miller, Commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing at Robins AFB; Col Gerald Swift, F-15 Division Chief; Larry O’Neal, Georgia State Representative; Patrick M. Bartness, President and Chief Operating Officer, Museum of Aviation Foundation; and Carolyn Crayton, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Museum of Aviation Foundation.
The F-15E “Strike Eagle” donated model has a six foot wing span that sits atop a high pole next to the South Entrance to the Eagle building. The “Eagle Division” of the Museum provides a worldwide support to all F-15 aircraft both for the U.S. Air Force fleet as well as for all foreign military sales users.
The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses in aerial fights. Since the 1970s, the Eagle has also been exported to Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Despite originally being envisioned as pure air superiority aircraft, its design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative.
The first F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jet flew in July 1972 and entered the service in 1976. The Eagle is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force past 2025. Purchase quality made F-15E model airplanes and see the biggest aviation collectibles only in Showcase Models.
An innocuous-seeming U.S. Air Force press release. A serendipitous satellite image in Google Earth. Snapshots from a photographer on assignment at a Spanish air base. The crash of an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber in the United Arab Emirates. These are some of the fragments of information that Italian aviation blogger David Cenciotti has assembled to reveal the best picture yet of the Pentagon’s secretive war in the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
In a series of blog posts over the past two weeks, Cenciotti has described in unprecedented detail the powerful aerial force helping wage Washington’s hush-hush campaign of air strikes, naval bombardments and commando raids along the western edge of the Indian Ocean, including terror hot spots Yemen and Somalia. Cenciotti outlined the deployment of eight F-15Es from their home base in Idaho to the international air and naval outpost at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, north of Somalia.
Over the years there have been hints of the F-15s’ presence in East Africa, but “their actual mission remains a (sort-of) mystery,” Cenciotti writes. Based on the evidence, he proposes that the twin-seat fighter-bombers — one of the Air Force’s mainstay weapon systems in Afghanistan — are dropping bombs on al-Qaida-affiliated militants in Yemen. If true, that means the U.S. intervention in the western Indian Ocean is far more forceful, and risky, than previously suggested.
Ten years ago the Air Force openly acknowledged the initial F-15E rotation in Djibouti, but since then the flying branch has released few details. New official information on the Indian Ocean aerial armada has emerged only after airplanes crashed. An accident involving an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Seychelles late last year forced the Pentagon to admit it was building a drone base on the island nation. Reporters followed the Seychelles lead to uncover additional Reaper bases in Yemen and Ethiopia. Armed drones operated by the CIA and the military have killed scores of militants in Somalia and Yemen under steadily loosening rules of engagement.
Similarly, the deaths of four American airmen in a crash in Djibouti in February confirmed the involvement of the secretive U-28 spy plane in the escalating intervention.
The F-15Es carry more bombs and fly much faster than the Cessna-size, propeller-driven Reapers. Where the long-endurance drones are persistent and patient, the twin-engine Strike Eagles are fast-reacting and powerful. “When you need to quickly reach a distant target and hit it with a considerable payload, you might find a Strike Eagle a better platform,” Cenciotti explains. On the other hand, “air strikes with conventional planes are considered less respectful of the local nation’s sovereignty than drones’ attacks,” he adds. “This could be the reason for keeping the eventual F-15E involvement in the area a bit confidential.”
Again, it was a crash that helped draw reporters’ attention to the F-15s in Djibouti. In early May a photographer friend of Cenciotti photographed several Strike Eagles passing through Spain’s Moron air base en route to an unspecified deployed location. One of the F-15s crashed near its next layover in the United Arab Emirates. (The two crew members ejected safely.) Cenciotti scrutinized the aircraft involved and matched them up with a Pentagon press release describing a change-of-command ceremony for a fighter squadron in Djibouti.
An image from Google Maps showing six F-15s on the ground in Djibouti helped confirm Cenciotti’s theory that Strike Eagles are active in the Indian Ocean region. Evidence the jets are bombing Yemen is more circumstantial: Cenciotti notes that the pro-U.S. Yemeni air force was on strike at the time of one widely reported air raid in the country, meaning another nation was likely responsible for the hit.
The 37-year-old Cenciotti rivals ace Aviation Week reporter Bill Sweetman for breaking news about military aircraft. But his strict focus on aviation means he misses other compelling evidence of the U.S. shadow war in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The Navy maintains around 30 warships in the Indian Ocean as part of several international task forces. American destroyers have launched missiles and fired guns at terrorists in Somalia and Yemen.
But arguably the most interesting vessels in the area are also the least flashy. Lewis and Clark-class supply ships, normally used to carry fuel and cargo, have also been used as Afloat Forward Staging Bases — in essence, seaborne military camps for housing Special Forces and launching helicopters and small boats. The ships can be configured with makeshift jails for holding captured pirates and, in theory, terror suspects.
The Lewis and Clark class ship Carl Brashear visited Djibouti in early May, according to a military press release. Where the ship went next — and what exactly she did there — is unclear. But if Cenciotti’s investigation of the F-15s is any indication, there could be a surprising truth beneath the layers of official secrecy concealing America’s underreported Indian Ocean shadow war.
News source: wired.com
The 120th Fighter Wing of the Montana Air National Guard will extend its current air combat alert mission at Joint Base Pearl-Hickam, Hawaii until September 2012.
The extension is a result of a recent decision to leave the F-15 mission at MANG longer than originally anticipated. MANG is performing the 24-hour alert mission in Hawaii while that base converts from the F-15 to the newer, more high-tech F-22 Raptor. Approximately 30 pilots, maintainers and logistics personnel, in addition to six F-15s, from MANG have been deployed to Hawaii since August of last year. They were originally scheduled to return in January 2012.
When the personnel were fist deployed, a MANG spokesman said many of those making the trip had sold their homes or rented them out in anticipation of a long deployment.
An alert-status mission means the F-15s must be ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fly at a moment’s notice if an aircraft is in trouble or an unidentified plane enters restricted airspace or acts erratically, according to MANG officials.
When Oroville trucker Brian Walker’s was sent him to Virginia a couple of weeks ago to haul back wings of an F-15 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to Chico.
“He didn’t tell me what kind of wings,” said Walker in an interview Friday in Oroville. “He just told me airplane wings. I had no idea it was an F-15 jet.”
Walker drove one of two farm semis carrying the wings, nose, burn cans and a huge green box filled with parts and panels to put the F-15 back together.
Although they were ready to roll July 22, the group had to wait because they couldn’t travel during the weekend through the Virginia city of Hampton, where Langley’s located. The group finally left around the base around 2 p.m. EDT July 25, but they only traveled about 240 miles the first day, partly due to permits.
The trip became known as the Freedom Eagle project and took five days through eight states. They arrived in Chico July 31.Walker said the best part of the trip was seeing the reactions of people along the way. Some motorists whizzed past and slowed down once they realized what he was hauling, or they would ride up beside Walker’s truck and make gestures or point.
The F-15 aircraft also drew people when the truckers stopped. At times, the convoy was able to stop at empty parking lots, but within minutes, the lots would have 15 or more cars “with people taking pictures, talking to us, and wanting their pictures taken with (the plane).”
“It was an experience I will never forget,” Walker said somberly. “It’s an honor that I got to do it.”
Two USAF F-15Es had to make an emergency landing at St. John’s International Airport, Canada on Wednesday after one of the jets had a hydraulic problem.
The landing was accomplished without incident, but emergency vehicles were on standby. One of the pilots told VOCM News that the problem was a minor hydraulic issue.
The Americans are from a base in the United Kingdom. There were 4 people travelling in both fighter jets. The pilot says they anticipate being in St. John’s for a couple of days until the problem is fixed.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is an all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. United States Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker camouflage and conformal fuel tanksmounted along the engine intakes.
It has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force and Operation Odyssey Dawn carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries.
An F-15 fighter jet crashed in Libya’s rebel held east, both crew ejecting safely as the aircraft spun from the sky during the third night of the U.S. and European air campaign. U.S. military said the two US airmen were force to eject from their F-15 after an apparent mechanical failure.
The F-15E came down in field of winter wheat and thistles outside the town of Bu Mariem, about 24 miles east of the rebel capital of Benghazi.
The aircraft, based at RAF Lakenheath, was flying out of Italy’s Aviano airbase in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn at the time of the incident.
“I saw the plane spinning round and round as it came down,” said Mahdi el-Amruni, who rushed to the crash site with other villagers. “It was in flames. They died away, then it burst in to flames again.”
By Tuesday afternoon, the F-15 plane‘s body was mostly burned to ash, with only the wings and tail fins intact.
Vince Crawley, a spokesman for the Africa Command, said both crew members had been safely recovered and had received only minor injuries. Crawley said the crash was likely to have been caused by mechanical failure rather than hostile fire. He declined to give the location of the crash and would not say how the rescued crewmen were picked up or where they were taken.
The crash was the first major loss for the U.S. and European military air campaign, which over three nights appears to have hobbled Qaddafi’s air defenses and artillery and rescued the rebels from impending defeat.
Several F-15E fighter jets from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina are heading to an air base in Charleston for two weeks.
Air Force officials say members of the 333rd Fighter Squadron are arriving this week and will fly training missions Monday through Friday next week.
Officials warn that residents near Joint Base Charleston will hear increased jet noise during daylight hours. The training ensures that the pilots and crews are prepared to support military operations in Afghanistan by having them fly in unfamiliar air space.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is able to fly air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft is a superior next generation multi-role strike fighter that is available today. Its unparalleled range, persistence and weapons load make it the backbone of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). A complement of the latest advanced avionics systems gives the Strike Eagle the capability to perform air-to-air or air-to-surface missions at all altitudes, day or night, in any weather.
On Feb. 15, Firefighters from the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron practiced extracting a simulated incapacitated aircrew member from a simulated disabled F-15E Strike Eagle during egress training at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB) in North Carolina.
The egress process begins when the firemen receive notification of an aircraft emergency. When they arrive on the scene they access the situation. After the quick assessment they extinguish all fires and hazards. Once the scene is safe based on the conditions they face a decision about best way to remove the aircrew members.
The second a fireman or ladder touches the aircraft the team has exactly 90 second to safely remove the F-15E Strike Eagle aircrew. The personnel extraction times vary depending on the airframe and the number of personnel onboard.
In 2009, the 366th Maintenance Group implemented an Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiative to conduct end-to-end testing of aging electronic warfare radio frequency cabling and perform full spectrum threat analysis on the base’s F-15Es.
The initiative, known as Strike 21, has improved the annual EW assessment scores from below 45 percent to greater than 80 percent, garnering U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense attention.
Master Sgt. Matthew Robinson, Strike 21 section chief for the 366th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, says “The systems we concentrate on have been somewhat neglected because there’s no positive feedback for whether your system is working until you go to war or have a specialized team come and assess your jets.”
Sergeant Robinson said MHAFB and other bases across the Air Force have not scored well on these tests. “The maintenance group here decided they wanted to fix that and put together a specialized team to put emphasis on the systems and conduct end-to-end checks of the electronic warfare systems,” he said.
The specialized team consists of eight proficient avionics personnel and four tactical aircraft maintenance specialists – all assigned to the 366th EMS.
Using Strike 21, these experts conduct inspections on the F-15 aircraft every 180 calendar days. During this six-day inspection , other scheduled maintenance inspections are completed in tandem to help maximize aircraft availability. So far, Strike 21 has identified more than 155 faulty cable segments — finds that if gone unnoticed, would have lowered the receiving and jammer system capabilities, potentially putting pilots in danger.
“Being the nature of EW, the system could not work and you wouldn’t know it,” Sergeant Robinson said. “And for our aircrew, having a false sense of security is worse than having no sense of security at all.”
Tech. Sgt. Brian White, Strike 21 technician for the 366th EMS, said the 366th Fighter Wing Combat Shield and Electronic Warfare Assessment Program annual scores have shown dramatic improvement since Strike 21 started.
“Strike 21 has been able to improve the reliability of Tactical Electronic Warfare Systems on our aircraft,” Sergeant White said. “This translates into a more reliable system for our aircrews to train and deploy with.”
The EW assessment scores are a subset of the measuring stick used by senior Air Force and DOD leadership to determine an F15 fighter wing’s combat capability. Sergeant White said as a defensive system, maintenance and care of TEWS directly impacts a fighter wing’s ability to conduct air operations in contested airspace anywhere in the world.
“Personally, I believe this is a best practice within the Air Force,” he said. “We are providing our aircrews with the best maintained TEWS in the Air Force. Coupled with all the outstanding maintenance and support provided throughout this wing, our Strike Eagles and aircrews are the tip of our nation’s spear.”
People near Mountain Home Air Force Base (MHAFB) in Idaho might hear F-15s in the skies this week.
From January 3 to January 7, Mountain Home Air Force Base F-15E Strike Eagles will be conducting medium altitude training over Idaho City, Pine and Boise.
In the morning and again in the afternoon, the F-15 jets will conduct limited flights at medium altitude over Pine and Idaho City. On January 7, some flights may also be conducted over the more urban areas of Boise.
MHAFB said the flights are in important part of providing aircrews the opportunity to practice tracking and identifying simulated targets in terrain that simulates areas they may encounter in future deployments.
At all times, aircrews will be in contact with Air Traffic Control agencies.