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Kadena Eagle Sunset

For all Kadena Eagle Drivers and Eagle Keepers , mark your calenders April 14-15th Kadena Eagle Sunset Celebration. **Spread the word, more info will follow.

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Kingsley Field welcomes Kadena Air Base Eagles

Story by Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson

The U.S. Air Force is replacing F-15C Eagles of Kadena Air Base, Japan with a rotating force of fighters according to official Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.
That announcement kicks off a process of ferrying nearly 50 fighter aircraft across the Pacific Ocean back to the United States mainland—a task with many challenges.

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from Kadena Air Base, Japan land at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Dec. 2, 2022, where they will be inspected and repaired before being transferred to their gaining units or retired to the “Boneyard”. Kingsley Field was selected as the hub to receive the aircraft after the Air Force announced the Kadena Eagles would be replaced by a rotating force of fighters. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)


They need a place to go–not just any place but a secure military installation with the room to park them, and with a team of people who understand the care and feeding the Eagle requires.
It’s a problem with a ready solution—Kingsley Field, the home of the 173rd Fighter Wing, located on the west Coast in Southern Oregon, has extensive ramp space and whose Eagle Keepers are proficient at keeping them airworthy every day.
“Kingsley’s geographic location on the West Coast makes it an easy choice due to the proximity of the stop-over location, Hickam Air Force Base,” said Col. Adam Gaudinski, the 173rd Maintenance Group commander. “Additionally, we were chosen due to our vast maintenance experience, unique capabilities, and our immense ramp and hangar space.”

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from Kadena Air Base, Japan land at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Dec. 2, 2022, where they will be inspected and repaired before being transferred to their gaining units or retired to the “Boneyard”. Kingsley Field was selected as the hub to receive the aircraft after the Air Force announced the Kadena Eagles would be replaced by a rotating force of fighters. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)


When these aircraft arrive, which began Dec. 4, 2022, Kingsley maintainers “catch” them and inspect them for any issues following their transit of the Pacific Ocean.
“When the jets are ready, Kingsley will coordinate with gaining units to come pick up their aircraft,” said Gaudinski, “Also, Kingsley will welcome several of the Kadena aircraft into our current fleet.”
Finally, the disposition process means that several aircraft will retire to the “Boneyard” in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

The U.S. Air Force is replacing F-15C Eagles of Kadena Air Base, Japan with a rotating force of fighters according to official Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.
That announcement kicks off a process of ferrying nearly 50 fighter aircraft across the Pacific Ocean back to the United States mainland—a task with many challenges.
They need a place to go–not just any place but a secure military installation with the room to park them, and with a team of people who understand the care and feeding the Eagle requires.
It’s a problem with a ready solution—Kingsley Field, the home of the 173rd Fighter Wing, located on the west Coast in Southern Oregon, has extensive ramp space and whose Eagle Keepers are proficient at keeping them airworthy every day.
“Kingsley’s geographic location on the West Coast makes it an easy choice due to the proximity of the stop-over location, Hickam Air Force Base,” said Col. Adam Gaudinski, the 173rd Maintenance Group commander. “Additionally, we were chosen due to our vast maintenance experience, unique capabilities, and our immense ramp and hangar space.”
When these aircraft arrive, which began Dec. 4, 2022, Kingsley maintainers “catch” them and inspect them for any issues following their transit of the Pacific Ocean.
“When the jets are ready, Kingsley will coordinate with gaining units to come pick up their aircraft,” said Gaudinski, “Also, Kingsley will welcome several of the Kadena aircraft into our current fleet.”
Finally, the disposition process means that several aircraft will retire to the “Boneyard” in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

Pilots from the 173rd Fighter Wing greet F-15C pilots from Kadena Air Base, Japan after they land at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Dec. 2, 2022. The U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles will be inspected and repaired before being transferred to their gaining units or retired to the “Boneyard”. Kingsley Field was selected as the hub to receive the aircraft after the Air Force announced the Kadena Eagles would be replaced by a rotating force of fighters. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)


Currently the wing has accepted 14 Kadena F-15 Eagles and will send seven of them to new homes across the nation, including guard units in California, Massachusetts, and Louisiana. Four of them will retire to the Boneyard and three of them will call the 173rd Fighter Wing home.
“We were able to ensure all aircraft were ‘Code-1’ within 24-hours of their arrival,” Gaudinski said of the initial aircraft arrival on Friday. “Code-1” is maintenance shorthand for a jet that ready to fly immediately. “This permits aircraft to be flown to their gaining units as rapidly as possible.”
The quick turn-around is helpful to the process as more jets are scheduled to arrive as early as next week. The process will continue until the entire fleet of Kadena Air Base F-15s leave the base, the first time that has happened since 1979
Currently the wing has accepted 14 Kadena F-15 Eagles and will send seven of them to new homes across the nation, including guard units in California, Massachusetts, and Louisiana. Four of them will retire to the Boneyard and three of them will call the 173rd Fighter Wing home.
“We were able to ensure all aircraft were ‘Code-1’ within 24-hours of their arrival,” Gaudinski said of the initial aircraft arrival on Friday. “Code-1” is maintenance shorthand for a jet that ready to fly immediately. “This permits aircraft to be flown to their gaining units as rapidly as possible.”
The quick turn-around is helpful to the process as more jets are scheduled to arrive as early as next week. The process will continue until the entire fleet of Kadena Air Base F-15s leave the base, the first time that has happened since 1979

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492nd Fighter Squadron arrive at Lask AB

Six U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighters from Royal Air Force Lakenheath’s 48th Fighter Wing arrived at Łask Air Base, Poland to begin deterrence operations on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Nov. 27, 2022. As part of U.S. European Command’s initiative to bolster collective defense posture and Allied integration, the Strike Eagles will take over the fighter mission from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 90th EFS will return to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska after a successful deployment in support of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Claire Waldo)
Six U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighters from Royal Air Force Lakenheath’s 48th Fighter Wing arrived at Łask Air Base, Poland to begin deterrence operations on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Nov. 27, 2022. As part of U.S. European Command’s initiative to bolster collective defense posture and Allied integration, the Strike Eagles will take over the fighter mission from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 90th EFS will return to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska after a successful deployment in support of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Claire Waldo)
Six U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighters from Royal Air Force Lakenheath’s 48th Fighter Wing arrived at Łask Air Base, Poland to begin deterrence operations on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Nov. 27, 2022. As part of U.S. European Command’s initiative to bolster collective defense posture and Allied integration, the Strike Eagles will take over the fighter mission from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 90th EFS will return to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska after a successful deployment in support of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Claire Waldo)
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The Perfect Christmas Gift

If any of you are struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift. Here are four top suggestions. Absolute must reads for any Eagle fan and military Aviation aficionado!!

Wingman at War written by Matt Beals

is a first-hand, earnest, exciting, and heartfelt journey into the cockpit and beyond of a talented young fighter pilot suddenly called into combat without prior notice or fanfare. Derived from a personal journal kept completely secret from the world until now, the author Matt “Boz” Beals, takes the reader on a flight of a lifetime as the youngest F-15C Eagle pilot flying combat in the Persian Gulf War.

Raw, unencumbered, and without agenda, this brand-new mission ready wingman tells the remarkable story of deploying, flying, fighting, and winning the air war over Iraq during OPERATION DESERT STORM. Detailed, real-time accounts of MiG kills, surface-to-air missile engagements, lethal anti-aircraft artillery, fiery explosions, harrowing airborne encounters, and near-death experiences in the skies over Iraq keep the reader engaged throughout. Mixed with a humor, refreshing exuberant honesty, and the perspective that only a 24-year-old fighter pilot can uniquely offer; Boz, the author, passionately brings to life the good, the bad, and the ugly of combat operations out of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey and OPERATION PROVEN FORCE as no other account previously has.

Victories won, mistakes made, lessons learned, heartaches endured, frustrations voiced, and celebrations had; nothing is off limits in this behind-the-scenes look at flying in the combined air superiority super squadron that affectionately became known as the “War Dogs.” Faith, teamwork, leadership, mentorship, and action galore are presented with clairvoyant historical perspective and epic life quotes that jump off the pages in this vibrant, in-the-moment account. The action is non-stop with something inside for every reader to thoroughly enjoy as if they were in the cockpit and beyond with “BOZ.”

What are you waiting for Click on this link “Wingman at War” to order your copy now! Enjoy

Fighting Aardvarks and Eagles: written by Terrance “Marco” McCaffrey

A unique insight into a young high-school graduate who moves to the USAF Academy and learns to be an Air Force officer and a pilot. It explores the development of a fighter pilot in the world’s best Air Force at the peak of its powers, flying missions in Operation DESERT STORM, followed by 10 years of deployments for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq, and then living in the aftermath of 9-11 and the changing world of the Global War on Terror. It follows him as he discovers what is it like to serve in the USAF for a 30-year span that moved from the relative security of the Cold War to the insecurity created by vacuums of political power that continue today. The reader experiences a USAF career by riding along with the author and his family through 19 home moves all over the world, discovering what is it like to progress from combat pilot to leading major organizational change as the US military began to refocus in a new age of politics, fragile peace, and uncertain economic future.

What are you waiting for Click on the link “Fighting Aardvarks and Eagles” to order your copy now! Enjoy

MISSION READY INSIDE THE BEST RIGHTER SQUADRON OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE photos by Patrick “Red” van Dam

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.

he 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

Call-Sign KLUSO: An American Fighter Pilot in Mr. Reagan’s Air Force written by Rick “Kluso” Tollini

Eagle pilot Rick “Kluso” Tollini’s life has embodied childhood dreams and the reality of what the American experience could produce. In his memoir, Call Sign KLUSO, Rick puts the fraught minutes above the Iraqi desert that made him an ace into the context of a full life; exploring how he came to be flying a F-15C in Desert Storm, and how that day became a pivotal moment in his life.

Rick’s first experience of flying was in a Piper PA-18 over 1960s’ California as a small boy, and his love of flying through his teenage years was fostered by his pilot father, eventually blossoming into a decision to join the Air Force as a pilot in his late twenties. Having trained to fly jets he was assigned to fly the F-15 Eagle with the “Dirty Dozen,” the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron, at Kadena AB, Japan before returning Stateside to the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron “The Gorillas.” Throughout training, Reagan’s fighter pilots expected to face the Soviet Union, but Rick’s first combat deployment was Desert Storm. He recounts the planning, the preparation, and the missions, the life of a fighter pilot in a combat zone and the reality of combat. Rick’s aerial victory was one of 16 accumulated by the Gorillas, the most by any squadron during Desert Storm.

Returning from the combat skies of Iraq, Rick continued a successful fulfilling Air Force career until, struggling to make sense of his life, he turned to Buddhism. His practice led him to leave the Air Force, to find a new vocation, and to finally come to terms with shooting down that MiG-25 Foxbat in the desert all those years before. Most importantly, he came to a deeper understanding of the importance of our shared humanity.

What are you waiting for Click on this link “Call-sign Kluso” to order your copy now! Enjoy

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Kadena Eagles returning CONUS

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons await clearance for their last take-off from Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2022. As a part of its modernization plan, the 18th Wing is retiring its aging fleet of F-15C/D Eagles that have been in service for more than four decades. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)
A U.S. Air Force pilot assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxis down the flightline in an F-15C Eagle for the final time at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2022. The departure of the first batch of retiring Eagles is a necessary step in ensuring Team Kadena remains postured to defend Japan and maintain regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)
A U.S. Air Force pilot assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxis down the flightline in an F-15C Eagle for the final time at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1, 2022. The departure of the first batch of retiring Eagles is a necessary step in ensuring Team Kadena remains postured to defend Japan and maintain regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)