Eagle Country

This website contains the story behind the world’s best ” interceptor” and “strike” fighter. There are numerous great site’s about the F-15 so why another site?

Well most site are great photo gallery’s and contain the history and development of the F-15. What they miss is the story behind the F-15. The training, exercises and operations, deployments, Squadron anecdotes, personal stories. The history of the squadrons that operate or haven flown with the F-15. News about current exercises and deployments.

Each squadron history page is different from the other. Such as the 461st TFTS which contains a whole lot of extra information about the development of the F-15E training program. Or the 22nd TFS Stingers with a lot of squadron anecdotes and fighter pilot pranks. Take a look for yourself, and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for visiting

Eagle Country is a site that is far from complete any contributions, suggestions are welcome. If you would like to share your squadron stories, photos, info etc please contact the webmaster

Eagle Country on Facebook

To all Eagle Drivers, Strike Drivers, Strike Eagle WSO’s and Eagle Keepers. Eagle Country Facebook group is a great group to share squadron photos, anecdotes, bar stories etc from you time serving in one of the Eagle squadrons. Keeping the rich Eagle heritage alive. Feel free to join and maybe come across some squadron mates with who you have lost contact. Feel free to post any photos, stories etc. Join and click on this link Eagle Country

Below the latest F-15 Eagle News

Click on each headline for the full story and large images


The first Raytheon Trophy awarded to the 335th Fighter Squadron ‘Chiefs’

Story by Airman 1st Class Leighton Lucero

Nov 11, 2023 SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, North Carolina – In the hangars on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Airmen with oil-stained uniforms and tools in bruised hands prepared fighter jets for flight. Once the jets are ready the pilots and Weapon Systems Officers (WSO) encased within them took to the sky, ready to maintain air-dominance anytime, anywhere and against any foe in support of global interests.

The effort of these men and women, help the U.S. Air Force maintain itself as the strongest and most resilient airpower in the world. Since 1953, the Raytheon Trophy has been awarded annually to the top air-superiority or air-defense squadron in the U.S. Department of the Air Force.

F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, prepare for takeoff during Red Flag 18-1, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 30, 2018. (U.S Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo)

The 335th Fighter Squadron, known as the ‘Chiefs,’ have received the coveted award for 2022. It is the first Raytheon Trophy awarded to an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter squadron in Air Combat Command history. Their exceptional show of force on the world stage, as well as the success of training exercises in fiscal year 2022, set them apart from their peers in a very competitive field of fighter squadrons across the Combat Air Forces.

The squadrons are graded on mission performance, exercise performance, organizational readiness inspection results and several other factors. Throughout their deployment, they flew over 1,400 sorties, logged over 4,000 flight hours, dropped over 150 bombs and shot 4 AIM-9Xs. The AIM-9X is called the Sidewinder missile, and it tracks its target with heat seeking capabilities.

Additionally, in calendar year 2022, the ‘Chiefs’ completed 11 temporary duty travels and 29 gold-standard agile combat employment events. They also led the Air Force’s largest F-15 Wing to train 97 Airmen/crew to be combat ready in a single year. Additionally, the ‘Chiefs’ provided defensive counter air throughout the USCENTCOM area of responsibility while simultaneously executing armed overwatch and close air support for 115 friendly positions in theater.

F-15 Eagle fighter jet pilots assigned to 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, cheer before taking off to participate in Red Flag 18-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan 30, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

While maintaining air dominance and supporting ground positions in five countries, the ‘Chiefs’, as mission commanders, simultaneously executed President of the United States (POTUS) directed strikes with 18 bombs on nine hostile pivotal infrastructures.

“This award is a huge honor,” said the 335th Fighter Squadron Commander. “There are 48 other multi-role fighter squadrons in the United States Air Force and the Chiefs were the first unit on SJAFB to win it. The ‘Chiefs’ utilize F-15E Strike Eagles, making us one of three total F-15 squadrons to ever win the award.”

Out of all the fighter squadrons in the force, the ‘Chiefs’ maintainers, pilots and WSOs excelled above the rest. Their diligence, determination and lethality enabled them to accomplish various missions.

“Winning this award shows that the 4th Fighter Wing is still a very lethal and credible wing,” said the 335th Fighter Squadron Commander. “The 335th FS definitely demonstrated their capabilities down range. The camaraderie they show for being chosen as the top air-dominance squadron in the U.S. Air Force, in 2022, gives us a lot of pride. It is a huge accomplishment for Team Seymour and the Chiefs!”




If you are looking for a thrilling Christmas gift, what better that one of the best F-15 Eagle related books

Mission Ready is a visual narrative about a world that’s not accessible to most of us. Until now. Documentary photographer and creative director Patrick van Dam gives us a realistic and uncensored insight into the “Best Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Air Force”. Through compelling images, he offers an insider perspective of the legendary 493rd Fighter Squadron’s daily operations. This is not Top Gun. This is better. This is real.

From 2016 to 2021, Van Dam was granted access to several restricted military airbases and experienced first-hand what it takes to be a fighter pilot during a training mission in an F-15 Eagle. His contemporary photography is never shy of demystifying a sometimes romanticized world, yet always with an aesthetic point of view.

The photographs are complemented by stories from prominent “Grim Reapers” like Gulf War veteran and three-time “MiG Killer” Col. (Ret.) Cesar “Rico” Rodriguez. The result is a gripping book about an organization with unspoken rules and principles that takes pride in its honor and bravery.

The 493rd Fighter Squadron, also known as the “Grim Reapers”, is a combat mission-ready squadron and provides air-to-air offensive and defensive support for the United States and NATO operations. It is part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), located at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. The 493rd was the last squadron in Europe flying the F-15 Eagle. Since 1994, they have conducted air superiority missions in the Balkans, Middle East, and Baltics. Since 1994, the 493rd has been awarded the coveted Raytheon Trophy for being the top Air Superiority Squadron of the U.S. Air Force, no less than six times. A unique and unconquered achievement.

In 2022, the squadron transitioned to the new 5th-generation F-35A Lightning II, marking the end of an era for the presence of the F-15 Eagle in Europe.

What are you waiting for, get this unique book and click on “MISSION READY “ to order your copy now! Enjoy


F-15EX (No. 3) flies for the 1st time

After more than two years after the type’s first flight, Boeing flew for the first time the third F-15EX Eagle II, which is also the first to be built in the final operational configuration. The aircraft flew only with its primer paint and a small serial number (20-0003) on its twin tails, and will receive its final colors and insignias before the delivery to the U.S. Air Force.


USAF announces winners of William Tell 2023 competition

The Air Force wrapped up its first William Tell Air-to-Air Competition in 19 years on Sept. 15, at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Airmen from across active and guard wings participated in William Tell 2023, which tested aircrew performance in air superiority, weapons and tactics use, weapons loading, maintenance, command and control, intelligence and weapons director competitions.

“Rule number one for fierce competitors is when the competition is over, you celebrate and congratulate the winners,” said Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command.

The week-long event showcased the air-to-air capabilities of the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle units representing various Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Force and Air National Guard units.

The winners were announced at the William Tell 2023 Closing Ceremonies Friday night.

2023 Winners:


114th Fighter Squadron Changes Hands

Lt. Col. Tyler R. Cox passes command of the 114FS to Lt. Col. Thomas P. McGee Jr. after the airborne ceremony took place on Aug. 22, 2023, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The tradition of passing command demonstrates the trust between the two commanders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Reed)