12/14/06 — F-15Es are practicing for battle

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F-15Es are practicing for battle

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 14, 2006 1:45 PM

The sound of munitions and F-15E Strike Eagle afterburners have filled the skies over Goldsboro and Wayne County for the past few days -- and nights.

But don't worry, it's only a test with an end in sight, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials said.

Fourth Fighter Wing Public Affairs chief Capt. Tana Stevenson said base personnel have been involved this week in an Operational Readiness Exercise, designed to prepare the airmen for a deployment situation.

"The reason that folks have been and will be hearing the jets overhead is because we're simulating that we're in a deployed location and executing our mission from that location," she said. "While we're doing that, we have a set of people who are trained to watch us and see where we need to improve."

The exercise, she added is also designed to sharpen the skills of members of the wing in preparation for their Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for early next year.

The men and women at Seymour will work to ensure they can execute the wing's mission of providing air support "on target and on time" and have also been receiving training in basic war skills, including self-aid, buddy-care, securing a base and responding to attacks.

Base officials said they realize that Goldsboro and Wayne County residents have heard more noise than usual this week, both day and night, and offered thanks to members of those communities for their continued support of the base, its airmen and mission.

"We always appreciate the support that Goldsboro and Wayne County provides us," Mrs. Stevenson said. "Each and every skill that these guys learn when they're in here will help save their lives when they go to war."

The exercise is scheduled to end sometime late this afternoon.