An F-15E operating from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, became the first Air Force F-15 of any type to reach 10,000 flying hours, according to airmen at Bagram. The Strike Eagle, No. 89-0487, achieved the milestone on Jan. 13. A crew from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., flew the aircraft on the historic mission. The F-15E, assigned to Seymour Johnson’s 335th Fighter Squadron, has been flying for more than 21 years and is a veteran of combat going back to Operation Desert Storm. “It has taken more than 21 years of qualified maintenance technicians performing more than one million hours of inspections and repairs in all types of environments . . . to ensure aircraft #89-0487 was available,” said CMSgt. John Parrott, superintendent of Bagram’s 335th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit. He also credited all the other airmen, like weapons loaders, involved in keeping the aircraft operating. (Bagram report by TSgt. Vernon Cunningham)
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.