01/17/12 — F-15E makes history

View Archive

F-15E makes history

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 17, 2012 1:46 PM

On a "moonless" February night in 1991, a Seymour Johnson Air Force Base F-15E saved a small group of American troops that was pinned down just outside Baghdad -- and made history when it became the first Strike Eagle to record an air-to-air kill.

Last week, less than a month shy of the 21st anniversary of that mission, the same aircraft, again, earned a place in military lore.

Bagram Airfield officials confirmed Saturday that F-15E No. 89-0487 reached 10,000 flying hours last week over Afghanistan -- a first for the platform that was commissioned in the late 1980s.

But those who commanded the aircraft as it conquered its latest feat said the achievement would never have been possible had it not been for the professionalism and precision of decades of aircrews, maintainers and support personnel.

"Number 487," as it is affectionately called by its crew, was commissioned Nov. 13, 1990, and, since arriving at Bagram with members of the 335th Chiefs, has completed 1,200 hours and dropped 15 percent of all bombs deployed by the fleet.

During its 20-plus years of service, it has participated in operations Desert Storm, Deliberate Guard, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.