A Missouri Air National Guard pilot ejected, sustaining minor injuries, before his F-15C crashed about 125 miles south of St. Louis in a wooded area on Nov. 2, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The following day, the Air Force suspended all non- mission-critical F-15 flights pending the results of an accident investigation. A Nov. 4 USAF release indicates that preliminary findings point to a “possible structural failure.” The average age of the F-15s flown by the Air Guard is around 28 years; the average age for active duty F-15s is around 20 years, largely because the active force also flies the much younger E model. The Air Force does not specify whether it has restricted operations for all models.
A majority of panelists convened by the Atlantic Council to assess the situation in Ukraine believe that Russia will have enough forces—and recent practice in Belarus—to invade Ukraine within a month. A senior Air Force official concurred, saying the service expects the conflict soon.