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144th FW receives Eagles from Japan

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Austin Sowles
  • 144th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. -- The 144th Fighter Wing received three F-15C Eagles to their inventory during the month of December 2022 following their reassignment from Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 144th FW is one of the few Air National Guard units to absorb the F-15Cs.

Acquiring these aircraft from active duty assists the 144th Fighter Wing to remain combat capable and maintain their current flying tempo.

Senior Master Sgt. Derek Trautmiller, 144th Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, said, "Getting these aircraft here has been a tremendous help in bolstering our inventory. It keeps us combat capable, and that's our mission.”

As each F-15C is received by the 144th FW, they undergo an extensive acceptance inspection. This includes verifying serial numbers, inspection of egress and avionics, and ensuring that all mechanical systems are functioning correctly. The process of an acceptance inspection usually occurs within a two-week window but can take longer. It is an important step in the process of receiving new aircraft and ensures that the 144th FW can continue to maintain combat effectiveness and air superiority.

With these procedures in place, the 144th FW and its newly acquired F-15C Eagles can continue to engage in future operations and to defend the homeland.

"[Gaining these three aircraft] allows us to continue [our mission] and the capabilities that we had before the divestment process started to occur," Trautmiller said. “It’s great to look forward into the future and see where modernization takes us.”

As the Air Force modernizes its overall fighter fleet, the 144th FW expects to receive additional F-15Cs. These aircraft have had their service life extended through longeron replacement and numerous component upgrades. The144th FW is expected to continue to operate these aircraft until a new airframe is received.