Skip to comments.F-15s needed in Europe to respond to Russia, Lakenheath commander says
Posted on 07/28/2014 3:24:38 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
RAF LAKENHEATH, England This is not the time to talk about reducing the number of F-15 fighter jets in Europe, given the situation in Ukraine, according to the new commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, which flies the only F15s in Europe.
What an exciting time to be in Europe and an exciting time to be at NATO, what an exciting time to be around this wing, said Col. Robert Novotny, an F-15 pilot, who has been on the job for less than a week. You know we have a lot of challenges, we really do.
U.S. fiscal austerity is squeezing military budgets, and Department of Defense officials are questioning whether Lakenheath should be closed or lose some of its fighter jet inventory. Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander Europe, revealed in June that the Defense Department was considering pulling some F-15s from Europe, and Lakenheath is the only F-15 base on the continent.
Novotny agreed reducing the F-15C Eagle fleet makes fiscal sense, although he considers it to be the worlds greatest fighter at air-to-air combat.
The problem is that the F-15C is a single-purpose plane, which could be replaced by the multirole F-16, F-22 or F-15E, he said.
The F-15, which entered Air Force service in 1979, is also starting to find itself outclassed. When Novotny was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in 2012, he flew the F-15 against the new F-22 Raptor and found the older plane unable to match the new one.
For me, if Im acting the bad guy, I cant outrun them, Novotny told IEEE Spectrum, a leading technology, engineering and science magazine. The Raptor is shooting me from a lot farther away, and I usually never see them.
But Novotny said he agreed with the assessment of Defense Department officials who have advocated the F-15C remain at Lakenheath while the situation in Ukraine remains unstable.
I think retiring the F-15Cs here at Lakenheath was a prudent decision in light of the fiscal constraints before Russia annexed Crimea and before there was a raging battle on the eastern front of Ukraine, he said.
Lakenheath aircraft have been part of NATO air policing missions over the Baltic states recently. The missions have been ramped up as part of an alliance effort to reassure allies in the east, who fear Russias intentions toward states once under Soviet domination. Novotny said the base is deploying airmen to Bulgaria next month to train with local forces as part of that continuing effort.
However, Novotny described it as a routine training event to work with regional partners.
I dont think it necessarily signals a response per se to Russias intervention in Ukraine. I think this is the way we do business, Novotny said. We enjoy working with our partners. I believe our partners enjoy working with us.
They should have built some more F-22’s
Rumsfield’s “theory of provocative weakness” was right
Don’t the Euroweenies have their own fighter jets?
ummmm.... the Russians aren’t flying F-22s, so that issue makes no case against the F-15C
I don’t think it makes any sense to reduce the only air group of F-15s in Europe. Find a way to keep them. We need to get a grip on reductions in our defense budget. Cut liberal b.s. programs and maintain defense at sufficient levels.
*** and increase border security and expulsion of illegals to sufficient levels ***
Around a year ago, I read that Eglin’s 33rd fighter wing flew their F-15s to Arizona for storage. I wonder how easy it would be to get them ready again?
Maybe if it is too much for them they can buy old Russian designs like the Yak-38
They will IMHO.....
Maybe we should update the avionics like India did with their MiG-21’s and some countries did with the F-4. I was always in favor of the F-5/F-20 combo myself.
And have their own jets shot down?
They’ll find some other morons to risk their butts.
Says it introduced in 2003 so its not exactly out of date.
Shouldn’t the eurorats defend themselves at THEIR cost? Maybe if they’d stop all the socialist crap that infects them they have some money to defend themselves.
We should build 50,000 P-51’s with state-of-the-art ejection seats and a nice coat of radar-reducing paint.
Some of y’all think I”m joking.
Let it rain.
“Dont the Euroweenies have their own fighter jets?”
You don’t actually expect the Euros to do any of the fighting, do you?
“Eglins 33rd fighter wing flew their F-15s to Arizona for storage. I wonder how easy it would be to get them ready again?”
Depends on how many have not been stripped, to keep the current fleet flying.
The Writer from Stars and Stripes must have forgotten his high school geography class,because Lakenheath AFB is in England and England is an Island Not a Continent.
I agree with the Colonel though that we should be foreward basing as many Aircraft as we can.We need to send a wing of F-22’s to complement those Eagles.
It's called the PA-48 Enforcer...
So loyal patriotic American servicemen are morons?
Thanks for telling us what you really think, and showing us who you really are.
I think these F-15s are in Lithuania and Estonia right now together with fighters from Poland, Denmark, France and UK. Portugal, Netherlands, Germany and Canada are sending their fighters there on 1st of September.
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