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4th Fighter Wing selects team to participate in William Tell competition

By Airman 1st Class Rebecca Sirimarco-Lang

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. —
After a 19-year hiatus, the 2023 William Tell Air-to-Air Competition is scheduled to take place September 11-15, 2023, at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia.

The historic fighter aircraft competition is named after legendary Swiss archer, William Tell. It began as a bi-annual competition in 1954 that encouraged the most challenging air-to-air scenarios. The competition was placed on hold due to military operations and contingency requirements in 1996.

In addition to the 4th FW, other teams from across Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces and the Air National Guard will compete in this air superiority-focused event.

“We want to send the 4th FW’s best aircrew,” said Capt. Andrew Munoz, 335th Fighter Squadron evaluator pilot and 4th FW William Tell team member. “There’s a lot of different factors that I took into consideration when choosing my team.”

The 4th FW team members were chosen based on their experience and performance.

The 2023 4th Fighter Wing’s William Tell team members are:

Team Captain: Maj. Daniel “SLASH” Hutto

Instructor Qual: Pilot: Capt. Andrew “PAÑIC” Munoz Weapons System Operator: Capt. Richey “BREAUX” Menard

Wingman Qual: Pilot: Capt. Sean “WOLF” Sutedjo WSO: Capt. Noel “SP” Zamot

Any Qual: Pilot: Maj. Malcolm “REHEAT” Richards WSO: Capt. George “KING” Welton

Any Flight Lead: Pilot: Capt. Devin “CUJO” Beaulieu WSO: Capt. Eric “DIVE” Carter

Intelligence:

Senior Airman Elliot “DRAG” Atwell

Senior Airman Hannah “SHADE” Garcia

Maintenance:

Master Sgt. Christopher Oles

Staff Sgt. Jashaunn Jasper

Senior Airman Aaron Woods

Senior Airman Grace Forgey

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Boeing Rolls Out Third F-15EX

Boeing has rolled out the first F-15EX Eagle II in St. Louis that will be delivered later this year to an operational U.S. Air Force squadron, the company said on social media accounts.

The aircraft in yellow and green primer paint was shown crossing a street dividing Boeing’s factory from the airport. The angle showed the aircraft still lacks a full canopy, but includes all other major structural features.

The rollout ends a nearly 2 1/2-year gap since the delivery of the first two F-15EX aircraft to the Air Force in March-April 2021.

The first two Eagle IIs were delivered to the Air Force’s test squadron and sport a slightly different configuration from follow-on deliveries.

The Air Force wanted Boeing to deliver the first two test aircraft as quickly as possible after the program’s go-ahead in the fiscal 2020 budget. So Boeing diverted two aircraft from the F-15QA production batch for Qatar and delivered the aircraft with U.S. markings.

Although technically the first two F-15EX aircraft, the first Eagle IIs delivered to Air Force testers are equipped with provisions for a missile approach warning system that is not part of the U.S. configuration.

Despite not being exact copies, the first two aircraft have completed a series of critical tests, including the revalidation of stations 1 and 9 to enable each F-15EX to carry up to 12 missiles. Flutter concerns had forced the Air Force to stop using stations 1 and 9 on previous F-15s, but the fly-by-wire upgrade ordered for the Royal Saudi Air Force for the F-15SA allowed Boeing engineers to tune out the flutter risk with automated digital signals from the flight controls.

The Air Force’s original scheduled called for Boeing to deliver the first operational version of the F-15EX in December 2022, but the shipments have been delayed by eight months. In June, the Government Accountability Office warned that the schedule slip creates a risk that Boeing could miss other schedule targets, including initial operational capability.

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William Tell competition is back

SAVANNAH AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ga.– The Air Dominance Center, also known as the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, located here, will be the host venue for this year’s William Tell competition in coordination with Air Combat Command from Sept. 11-15, 2023, after a 19-year hiatus.

Nine different units, from active-duty, Air National Guard, and the Reserves will come together in a total force integrated environment to compete for both individual and team awards. For example, pilots will be tested on their offensive and defensive skills in maneuvers against enemy aircraft, and the best group will be hailed as the top “fighter integration team” in the Air Force’s very own version of “Top Gun”.

Units Participating:

AIR COMBAT COMMAND:
F-15E STRIKE EAGLE
4th Fighter Wing, Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC
366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, ID

F-22 RAPTOR
1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA

F-35 LIGHTNING II
388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, UT

PACIFIC AIR FORCES:
F-22 RAPTOR
3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
154th Fighter Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI

F-35 LIGHTNING II
354th Fighter Wing, Eielson AFB, AK

AIR NATIONAL GUARD:
F-15 C/D EAGLE
104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB, MA

F-35 LIGHTNING II
158th Fighter Wing, Burlington ANGB, VT

C2 CAPABILITIES:
3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan
552 Air Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, OK

“If you’re into football, this is the Super Bowl, if you’re into baseball, this is the World Series and if you’re into golf, this is the Masters Tournament,” said Lt. Col. Stephen “Tracker” Thomas, the Air Dominance Center commander. “The airspace we have here on our coast is a national treasure and will allow the competing pilots the ability to operate to their absolute full potential to show who is truly the best of the best.”

The Air Dominance Center is conveniently located near several ideal training areas, including the Townsend Bombing Range and a military operations airspace ranging from Charleston, South Carolina to Orlando, Florida that makes it a one-of-a-kind training location for warfighters across the Department of Defense.

“We are a center that brings in units from across the country and provides a training venue like no other,” said Thomas. “We give Airmen the opportunity to train to their full operational level and that is exactly what these nine units attending the William Tell meet are going to do here in September,” said Thomas.

The historic competition, which has not been held since its 50th anniversary in 2004 due to the War on Terror, will simulate a multitude of air combat scenarios with 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft acting as enemy “red teams” to prepare Airmen for real-life combat.

Thomas said there will be two events per day, with one launch starting around 8:00 a.m. and a second beginning in the afternoon around 1:00 p.m. each day. There will be a scoreboard announcement each evening that will be posted on social media and other channels that will be officially announced near the start of the competition.

“We want our community to be excited about this upcoming event and include them as much as possible,” said Thomas. “Although this event will not be open to the public, there will be plenty of jet sighting opportunities in the local area as well as photo and video coverage of the event published for public viewing.”

If members of the local community would like to learn more about the event, they can visit williamtell2023.com or check out the Air Dominance Center on Facebook or Instagram for further updates.

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4th of July Flyovers

4th of July flyovers. For those of you who are in the area, the 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct Independence Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon, Tuesday, July 4.
10:00 a.m. Veterans Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.
10:15 a.m. Downtown Ashland, Ashland, Ore.
10:30 a.m. Sporthaven Beach, Brookings, Ore.
10:50 a.m. Central Point 4th of July Freedom Festival, Central Point, Ore.
11:00 a.m. Eagle Point 4th of July Parade, Eagle Point, Ore.
11:20 a.m. Creswell 4th of July Parade, Creswell, Ore.
11:35 a.m. Black Butte Ranch, Black Butte Ranch, Ore.
11:45 a.m. Prineville 4th of July Parade, Prineville, Ore.
12:00 p.m. Lake of the Woods Resort, Lake of the Woods, Ore.
All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed.

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The 122 FS and 131 FS deployed at Hohn AB, Germany

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Nuzzo and Senior Airmen Adian Sugrue, electrical and environmental specialists with the 104th Maintenance Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts National Guard, run diagnostics on an F-15 Eagle during exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23) at Hohn Air Base, Germany June 13, 2023. Exercise AD23 integrates both U.S. and allied air-power to defend shared values, while leveraging and strengthening vital partnerships to deter aggression around the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Clayton Demming, a crew chief with the 104th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts National Guard, cleans landing gear on an F-15 Eagle aircraft prior to take-off in preparation for exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23) at Hohn Air Base, Germany June 13, 2023. Exercise AD23 integrates both U.S. and allied air-power to defend shared values, while leveraging and strengthening vital partnerships to deter aggression around the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)
U.S. Air Force Capt. Patrick “Stratus” Kurtz, a pilot with the 123rd Fighter Squadron, 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, performs preflight checks on an F-15 Eagle aircraft prior to take-off during exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23) at Hohn Air Base, Germany June 13, 2023. Exercise AD23 integrates both U.S. and allied air-power to defend shared values, while leveraging and strengthening vital partnerships to deter aggression around the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)
A U.S. Air Force weapons armament specialist with the 104th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts National Guard, signals to F-15 Eagle pilot prior to take-off in preparation for exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23) at Hohn Air Base, Germany June 13, 2023. Exercise AD23 integrates both U.S. and allied air-power to defend shared values, while leveraging and strengthening vital partnerships to deter aggression around the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)