Classic airframe, innovative capacities
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Remember being a kid and wishing you had a hot rod car when you grew older? What if you actually went through with your wish and made it happen? What about maintaining the car to a point where it’s in tip-top shape despite its age?
This is what Kadena achieved July 29, when one F-15 Eagle here reached the 10,000 flight hours mark.
This was a landmark moment for both Kadena and the Eagle. This particular F-15 was the first on Kadena to reach this amount of flight hours. The aircraft was originally designed for only 4,000 flight hours. Reaching the 10,000 flight hours mark is a testament to the maintenance performed on this incredible aircraft.
“The fact these aircraft have been in service for over 30 years, are projected to continue for decades to come, and continue to accomplish their missions in superb fashion speaks volumes of the original designers, manufacturers, and those who maintain the fleet day in and day out,” said Lt. Col. James McFarland, 67th Fighter Squadron commander.
This achievement can only be accredited to the hard work, diligence, and dedication of the 67th FS’s maintainers and pilots.
“It shows the F-15 is long-in-the-tooth, but still meets the combat capability required,” said Capt. Brian Anderson, 67th FS pilot. “We have jets here with multiple combat kills; they’ve been through more than four wars and operations: Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Allied Force; and all those jets are sitting out on the ramp.”
The jets are still able to participate in these contingencies because of the quality maintenance performed on them.
“This flight shows the 18th Wing’s tremendous capabilities to accomplish its mission in this AOR against any odds,” said McFarland. “Our people made this happen and they are our greatest strength.”
The people of the 67th FS make these jets combat-ready every day they walk out on the flightline.
“I like to know in my heart and mind every day, I’m walking out to a jet that’s going to be combat-capable, ready to answer any mission or any task given to me,” said Anderson. “It’s good to know I can have full trust in the airframe, given its age, when I go out there with it.”
Kadena’s pilots can’t carry out their mission of keeping peace in the Pacific without the work done by the maintainers.
“We couldn’t do our job without them,” said Anderson. “They’re just as much part of the team. They might not get all the glory, but they sure do deserve it.”
Airman 1st Class Marc Hicks, 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, said this achievement means he and his fellow maintainers have been doing their job right to make this aircraft reach 10,000 flight hours.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Hicks. “It shows the F-15 can still stand the test of time; can outlast it’s time and out-perform everybody.”