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F-15s needed in Europe to respond to Russia, Lakenheath commander says
stripes.com ^ | July 28, 2014 | Adam L. Mathis

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 world’s 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 I’m acting the bad guy, I can’t 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 Russia’s 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 don’t think it necessarily signals a response per se” to Russia’s 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.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: ukraine

1 posted on 07/28/2014 3:24:38 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

They should have built some more F-22’s


2 posted on 07/28/2014 3:29:13 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
“All I can say is if history has taught anything, it's that weakness is provocative. It entices people into doing things that they otherwise would not do.” When Rumsfeld was fired by President Bush three years later, he used his final turn at the podium to say that “it is not only clear that weakness is provocative, but [that] the perception of weakness on our part can be provocative.”

Rumsfield’s “theory of provocative weakness” was right

3 posted on 07/28/2014 3:30:47 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Don’t the Euroweenies have their own fighter jets?


4 posted on 07/28/2014 3:33:05 PM PDT by McGruff (If you repeat a lie enough times the uniformed will accept it as the truth.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

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 ***


5 posted on 07/28/2014 3:36:45 PM PDT by Enchante
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To: Tailgunner Joe

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?


6 posted on 07/28/2014 3:39:18 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: McGruff
Yes. I think there was one called the Typhoon and one called the Eurofighter or something. I think Sweden or something builds their own.

Maybe if it is too much for them they can buy old Russian designs like the Yak-38

7 posted on 07/28/2014 3:39:50 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

They will IMHO.....


8 posted on 07/28/2014 3:40:01 PM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

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.


9 posted on 07/28/2014 3:45:04 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (Mom I miss you! (8-20-1938 to 11-18-2013) Cancer sucks)
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To: McGruff

And have their own jets shot down?

That’s preposterous.

They’ll find some other morons to risk their butts.


10 posted on 07/28/2014 3:53:51 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: McGruff; GeronL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurofighter_Typhoon

Says it introduced in 2003 so its not exactly out of date.


11 posted on 07/28/2014 3:55:44 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: cripplecreek

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.


12 posted on 07/28/2014 3:55:54 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

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.


13 posted on 07/28/2014 4:09:01 PM PDT by Noamie
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To: McGruff

“Don’t the Euroweenies have their own fighter jets?”

You don’t actually expect the Euros to do any of the fighting, do you?


14 posted on 07/28/2014 4:10:27 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: yarddog

“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?”

Depends on how many have not been stripped, to keep the current fleet flying.


15 posted on 07/28/2014 4:12:04 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

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.


16 posted on 07/28/2014 4:23:56 PM PDT by puppypusher ( The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: Noamie
"We should build 50,000 P-51’s with state-of-the-art ejection seats and a nice coat of radar-reducing paint.'

It's called the PA-48 Enforcer...


17 posted on 07/28/2014 4:29:17 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: cripplecreek

So loyal patriotic American servicemen are morons?

Thanks for telling us what you really think, and showing us who you really are.


18 posted on 07/28/2014 5:10:05 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: puppypusher

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.


19 posted on 07/28/2014 5:14:27 PM PDT by Krosan
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To: Tailgunner Joe
So loyal patriotic American servicemen are morons?

Show me where I said that, boy. Or are you just a lying piece of trash?
20 posted on 07/28/2014 5:26:39 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Noamie
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.


I always thought we should bring back the F-4 with some updates, that was one versatile plane and make some F-20's as well. A side note, it is a shame the Canadian Avro Arrow never saw production.
21 posted on 07/28/2014 5:46:15 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (Mom I miss you! (8-20-1938 to 11-18-2013) Cancer sucks)
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To: Nowhere Man

I think the Russians did make it and called it the Mig-25.


22 posted on 07/28/2014 5:53:49 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

You said they were going to find some other morons to risk their butts for Europe. You were talking about Americans.


23 posted on 07/28/2014 6:10:12 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: GeronL

Or at least more F-15s updated to the Silent Eagle configuration and better.


24 posted on 07/28/2014 6:25:10 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: cripplecreek

Our F-15 pilots aren’t morons. You are.


25 posted on 07/28/2014 6:38:30 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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