The US Air Force has deployed four F-15 Eagle aircraft to Hungary as part of the European theatre security package.
The four F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft and support personnel are assigned to the 123rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 123rd EFS is part of the 142nd Fighter Wing located in Portland, Oregon, and is deployed as part of the European theatre security package.
According to 123rd EFS director of operations lieutenant colonel David Christensen:
“Improving interoperability between countries is always important, especially if we have to work together in some kind of future conflict. Everybody is more comfortable with who they are working with and understands what’s going on so we can better improve our warfighting.”
The aircraft are deployed in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, to train and test their ability to operate out of Kecskemet Air Base, strengthen interoperability, and demonstrate US commitment to the security and stability of Europe.
Capt. Aaron Lamont, a 123rd EFS F-15 pilot:
“Overall, establishing the relationship with us being here and being able to communicate with them and integrate our training together solidifies our relationship with our NATO allies and makes it a lot easier for us to do this in the future.”
The Boeing F-15 is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat. The Eagle has since been exported to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, among other nations. The F-15 was originally envisioned as a pure air superiority aircraft. Its design included a secondary ground-attack capability that was largely unused. The design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, was later developed. The F-15 production line is set to end in 2019, 47 years after the type’s first flight.