It will take months for F-15 pilots to regain their full flight currencies after about two months outside of the cockpit, according to Air Combat Command. “At a minimum,” the command says it anticipates needing two to three months to get the majority of Eagle pilots back to the full-up status they had before the Air National Guard F-15C crash last November that led to the extended grounding of the F-15 A-D models. And, there will be training backlogs. “Even with additional efforts and resources, some of these impacts will be felt for well over six months,” the command states in a prepared Q&A. F-15 units will regain their currencies step by step. “We’ll take a small group of highly experienced instructor pilots, pilots who haven’t yet lost their landing currency, and they will start to fly with the other pilots in the squadron and get them back to landing currency,” says Maj. Ryan Krietsch, F-15 functional area manager in ACC’s Air and Space Operations Division. (Includes USAF report SSgt. Thomas Doscher)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.