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June 8, 2023 9:21 am

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U.S. Air Force F-15Cs Have Started Leaving Kadena Air Base

U.S. Air Force F-15Cs Have Started Leaving Kadena Air Base

A U.S. Air Pressure F-15C Eagle assigned to the forty fourth Fighter Squadron takes off at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2022. (U.S. Air Pressure picture by Senior Airman Moses Taylor)

After Lakenheath’s Eagles, now additionally Kadena’s are returning to the US to be reassigned to Air Nationwide Guard items or saved.

Kadena Air Base, Japan, bid farewell to the primary wave of F-15 Eagles that left the 18th Wing on December 1, 2022 and returned to the US. This marked the primary departure of Eagles as part of their phased withdrawal from Kadena introduced a couple of month in the past, following the withdrawal of the F-15C/Ds from RAF Lakenheath, UK, earlier this yr.

The jets travelled Kingsley Discipline Air Nationwide Guard Base, Oregon, from the place some shall be moved to numerous Air Nationwide Guard items, whereas others will go to the 309th Aerospace Upkeep and Regeneration Group for storage. As a part of its modernization plan, the U.S. Air Pressure is retiring the aging fleet of F-15C/D Eagle plane which were in service for greater than 4 many years.

“That is the start of a big journey for the 18th Wing,” stated Brig. Gen. David S. Eaglin, 18th Wing commander. “That is going to take us from the place we’re as we speak to a greater place sooner or later the place we may have modernized fighters right here at Kadena to raised defend our allies and guarantee a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The 18th Wing obtained its first F-15C on Sept. 29, 1979, with whole of round 48 plane assigned to the forty fourth Fighter Squadron “Vampires” and the 67th Fighter Squadron “Fighting Cocks.” Of those, eight had been proven departing Kadena within the pictures launched by the Air Pressure, however it’s being reported {that a} whole of ten plane arrived to Kingsley Discipline after a cease at Hickam AFB.

U.S. Air Pressure F-15C Eagles assigned to the forty fourth and 67th Fighter Squadrons await clearance for his or her final take-off from Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2022. (U.S. Air Pressure picture by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)

The Division of Protection stated it would proceed to keep up a steady-state fighter presence at Kadena by briefly deploying newer and extra superior plane to backfill the F-15s as they retrograde to the U.S. According to 18th Wing leadership, the departure of this primary batch of Eagles marks a poignant however vital step in guaranteeing Group Kadena stays poised to defend Japan and maintain regional stability.

“Whereas I’m unhappy to see the F-15 go, it’s necessary to keep up a complicated fighter presence right here in Okinawa,” Eaglin stated. “Our adversaries have superior and progressed since 1979 and we should do the identical. I stay up for the long run as we work by way of the challenges of divesting an airframe that served admirably as we modernize our defenses and evolve to the threats we face as we speak.”

In a statement issued to the media, Air Pressure spokeswoman Ann Stefanek stated the phased withdrawal of the F-15s will happen in waves over two years. Stefanek additionally stated the Air Pressure will rotate fourth- and fifth-generation fighters to take their place whereas the Division of Protection works on a long-term, everlasting plan for Kadena, so as to “preserve regional deterrence and bolster our potential to uphold our treaty obligations to Japan.”

As of Dec. 6, 2022, 14 Kadena F-15 Eagles were accepted at Kingsley: seven shall be dispatched to new properties throughout the nation, together with guard items in California, Massachusetts, and Louisiana. 4 of them will retire to the Boneyard and three of them will name the 173rd Fighter Wing house.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally learning to realize a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT methods utilized to the world of navy operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.

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