Skip to comments.Final farewell: Last F-15s leave Tyndall // PHOTOS
Posted on 09/21/2010 7:21:23 PM PDT by devane617
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE - Tyndall Air Force Bases last three F-15 Eagles lifted off and headed west Tuesday, as hundreds of base personnel and Bay County residents lined the edges of the bases flight line to watch the end of an era.
More than five months after the bases first fighter jet departed, the result of an Air Force restructuring plan that called for the drawdown of Tyndalls 48 F-15s, the last three jets took off for Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The most difficult thing is we all love the airplane, Chief Master Sgt. William Canfield Jr., superintendent of the 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU), said minutes after the jets took off from Tyndall, as he talked about the AMU personnel who worked with the F-15s.
Tuesday marked the formal inactivation of Tyndalls 2nd and 95th Fighter Squadrons, which provided training to F-15 pilots. The first F-15, flown by Brig. Gen. Charles A. Horner, arrived at Tyndall in December 1983.
Lt. Col. Scott Yancy, 95th Fighter Squadron commander, led the three F-15s in a formation flyover above Tyndalls flight line Tuesday.
At the inactivation ceremony held prior to takeoff at the 95th Fighter Squadron Ramp, Yancy called Tuesday a storied day in Tyndalls history. The 95th has trained almost 4,000 F-15 pilot graduates, with those pilots amassing more than 400,000 flying hours, he said.
Col. Wesley Hallman, commander of the 325th Operations Group, talked about the F-15s 27-year legacy at Tyndall and the culture of excellence attached to the aircraft.
Hallman noted that, globally, F-15 units had tallied 104 air-to-air victories throughout the fighters history against zero losses. He also thanked the community members in attendance for their enduring support of the base.
We look forward to maintaining that close relationship as our mission evolves, Hallman said.
In May 2009, Air Force officials released the fiscal year 2010 Combat Air Forces restructuring plan, calling for all 48 F-15 Eagles assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing to be retired.
Capt. Jon Kassebaum flew the first F-15 out of Tyndall on April 9 to Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona, with the planes leaving the base since then at a rate of about two a week.
The 48 Eagles were reassigned to four different bases, with the Oregon Air National Guard, 173rd Fighter Wing in Klamath Falls, Ore., taking over as the primary location for F-15 pilot training.
Older F-15s will be used for various training and testing purposes, recycled for parts or placed in storage, according to Tyndall.
With the F-15s leaving Tyndall, the mantle would be passed to the bases 43rd Fighter Squadron and its continued F-22 Raptor pilot training, Yancy said. Currently, Tyndall serves as the only F-22 pilot training base in the Air Force, according to the base.
In late July, the Air Force announced Tyndall was selected to receive an additional squadron of F-22 Raptors.
At that time, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, said the first of the new F-22s would arrive at Tyndall toward the end of 2012. He said it would take about six months to get all of the F-22s on base.
Its just sad
Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, called Tuesdays F-15 departure bittersweet, and she said the base and the community could look forward to a new day with the arrival of more F-22s.
Its been a good thing for this particular base, Coley said of the F-15s presence at Tyndall.
On Friday, Yancy said he expected to stay at Tyndall for a couple of months before moving to a new position at the Pentagon. Yancys wife, Kris, walked with the departing lieutenant colonel to his jet and spoke with him briefly before he departed.
Its just sad to see it wrap up, she said after the jets had departed.
With Eglin and Tyndall there must have been well over a hundred F-15s in that small area of NW Florida. I read somewhere that the Nomads at Eglin have already lost their F-15s and are awaiting the F-35s. Never can be sure of what you read tho.
It’s one of the great experiences of NW FL is to see these guys training...
Send ‘em here to Taiwan. I can find hangar space for them in about 30 minutes.
I remember the 15’s scrambling out on 11 September, 2001. IIRC, they were part of the escort that met up with Air Force One after it departed Sarasota. They were also up for security while all the commercial and private aircraft were ordered down. Hell of a thing, flying combat air patrol OVER US cities.
If BHO has his way, the 15’s will all be cut to pieces, melted down and turned into wind power turbines or some such “green energy” bull shit.
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