Sep 17, 2014
US Air Force trying to protect F-15s in Europe
“As part of that billion dollars, we would propose monies in order to keep those F-15s in Europe for an additional year, ... so we’re hoping Congress will approve that as a good way forward,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters during a joint briefing with Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh Tuesday.
Although the proposal would only be good for one year, James said there could be a secondary proposal depending on the European situation one year from now.
The Air Force proposed in the fiscal 2015 defense budget request in February to retire 51 F-15C Eagles, including 21 based overseas, a majority of which are with the 493rd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, England. But the fighter mission is critical to maintaining a forward air presence given the latest developments with Russia’s repeated incursions in Ukraine.