Eagle Shuffle Complete

The Air Force in April concluded the three-year process of swapping out more than 50 older F-15s assigned to the 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan, for newer Eagles from bases in the US. The final three of Kadena’s older F-15Cs left the base April 23, thereby completing the transfer of its 53 aging F-15s to eight ANG bases stateside in exchange for 54 younger F-15s from active duty squadrons at Langley AFB, Va. and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. The exchanges took place under Pacific Air Forces’ Iron Flow program that began in 2005 as part of USAF’s overall plan to draw down its fleet of F-15 A-D models from more than 480 today to about 170 around 2025. Kadena’s new arrivals have increased capability such as the joint helmet-mounted cueing system. Eighteen of them from Elmendorf also carry advanced electronically scanned array radar systems. These 18 were the first F-15s in USAF’s inventory to get the sophisticated radars. The newer airframes also enable higher mission capability and sortie rates. (Kadena report by SSgt. Christopher Marasky)