Air National Guard F-15 Eagles will rotate to Europe as the next theater security package, replacing the A-10s currently deployed there from Moody AFB, Ga., officials announced. A blended package of F-15C/Ds will deploy to Europe early next year, initially led by the Massachusetts ANG’s 104th Fighter Wing, followed up by the California ANG’s 144th FW, 144th FW spokesman SMSgt. Chris Drudge told Air Force Magazine on Dec. 8.The rotation will be the fourth European TSP and the second F-15 package overall since tensions with Russia prompted force augmentation to the region early this year. Overlapping rotations have alternated between A-10s and F-15s, with Eagles from Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon, most recently returning from Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Romania in September. The TSP also marks the 144th FW’s first major F-15 deployment since the Fresno-based unit transitioned to the Eagle back in 2013. The unit plans to reach full operational capability on the F-15 early next year, according to Drudge.
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.