Mar 12, 2014
USAF wants to retire 51 F-15C
The U.S. Air Force intends to further whittle down the number of fighter aircraft based overseas as part of overall planned cuts to its fleet and wants to retire 51 F-15C Eagles, including 21 overseas, starting in fiscal 2015.
The reductions would be made over the next five years, leaving the Air Force with a total of 179 F-15Cs.
In Europe, 21 F-15Cs are assigned to RAF Lakenheath, England. Ten of those jets are currently in Lithuania to support the Baltic air policing mission. There are 54 F-15Cs based at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.
The other two fighter squadrons at Lakenheath comprise the newer F-15E Strike Eagles.
If the proposed F-15C cuts do indeed come from Europe, it would mark the third significant reduction of USAFE’s fighter fleet since 2010. Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany lost 21 F-16s starting in 2010 as part of an Air Force cost-savings plan. The base last year also said goodbye to 21 A-10s — the last remaining “Warthogs” in Europe — as part of Air Force cutbacks to meet tougher budget limits and a new defense strategy shifting focus away from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region.
The service’s fiscal 2015 force structure adjustments call for the reduction of 24 A-10s overseas. Those are based at Osan Air Base in South Korea.
The plan also calls for cutting two C-20H aircraft from the Air Force’s overseas fleet in fiscal 2015. Those planes, a military modification of the commercial Gulfstream aircraft, are used to transport distinguished military and government officials.