Tuesday, July 20, 2010

End of an Era: F-15s Leave Langley

July 20, 2010

The LA Times marks the end of an era by reporting that F-15s are leaving Langley Air Force Base after 34 years. At the same time, the 71st Fighter Squadron is being deactivated. The historic squadron has existed since 1941 and first flew P-38s in World War II.

The article notes the tremendous combat record (104 victories-0 defeats) compiled over the past three decades by the F-15. The design process for the F-15 began back in 1969. The oldest F-15s in service are among the 250 fighters being retired by the Air Force.

Despite its age, the Air Force remains heavily dependent on the F-15 and will be forced to rely on the aircraft for some years. It's intended replacement as the fleet's air dominance fighter, the F-22, was discontinued after just 186 Raptors were built. Instead, the Air Force will turn to the multi-role, single engine F-35, not yet in service.

PICTURED: Lt. Col. Clint Warner catches his daughter Sarah upon his return at Langley Air Force Base, Va., May 27, 2010, from a temporary duty assignment to Tyndall AFB, Fla. Colonel Warner is a pilot with the 71st Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Barry Loo)

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