View Full Version : Strike Eagles Surpass 8,000 Combat Hours

09-01-2009, 10:59 AM
Strike Eagles Surpass 8,000 Combat Hours
September 01, 2009
Air Force Print News|by Capt. David Faggard

Airmen from the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron achieved a milestone here when they surpassed 8,000 combat hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle while providing security to coalition forces.

The aircrew for the mission included Capt. Jaina Donberg, the F-15E pilot and a native of Arlington, Va., and Capt. Nick Foster, an F-15E weapons system officer and a native of Martinsburg, W.V. Launching the mission was F-15E crew chief, Senior Airman John Yates, a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island and a six-year-veteran of the F-15 C and E family.

The crews provided security for a helicopter re-supply point that night and even coordinated communications between the helicopters and coalition forces on the ground due the area's harsh terrain, according to Captain Foster.

"This re-supply was important because the only way to re-supply was via air because the roads were too hostile and rugged to move a convoy," he said.

"Everything went smooth," said Airman Yates, who is just three years older than this airplane. He said he just wanted to launch the mission and help save lives. "We try to give (the aircrew) a jet they don't have to worry about; they need to focus on the mission and save the lives of our people on the ground."

"This really is (the Maintenance Squadron's) record," said Captain Foster. "They have done an outstanding job producing the jets for us in a less than ideal environment. All the credit is due to them for the great work... (which) allows us to support the ground commander and perform our mission. For every hour flown there are countless hours of work done by our maintainers to get the jets back in the air."

Other F-15E missions here include anything from providing close-air support for coalition forces on the ground in contact with the enemy to supporting the recent Afghan elections on Aug. 20.

One of those missions, according to officials at the Air Force's Combined Air and Space Operation's Center, found F-15Es providing security to a convoy transporting election ballots from polling precincts to counting houses.

Coalition forces on the ground reported taking sniper fire, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire from various positions along the route. F-15E Strike Eagles were called in to hit the enemy positions with strafing runs and precision-guided munitions stopping the attack. The ballots were successfully delivered, according to the officials.

And the work done by the F-15E squadron in the sky is noticed by the ground forces. There have been many occasions where maintainers and aircrew were thanked by Soldiers on base for their work keeping the jets in the sky, according to Airman Yates.

"There have been times when (the soldiers) come up and say 'you guys saved our lives.' That's a great feeling," said Airman Yates.

"336th pilots and WSOs never doubt that these jets are ready for prime time," said Lt. Col. Neil Allen, 336th EFS commander. "They are safe, tactical, and ready for the mission, each and every day, no matter what. More importantly, the American and coalition heroes on the ground who count on the air component know that the F-15Es and other Air Force assets are ready for the fight. This truth is a testament to the men and women who keep these assets flying."

The 336th EFS is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

09-06-2009, 11:03 AM
i remember seeing the first f15e's come into ''nas glenview'' just north of chicago il.,it was just before ''desert storm'' back in dec 1990

09-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Yeah, the F-15s are awesome planes. Getting old, though.

09-07-2009, 09:52 AM
yep,and so are we