336th EFS sets tone for new phase of OIR

Aircrew members assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform pre-flight checks prior to flying a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The squadron’s primary objective is the protection and support of Coalition forces on the ground via precision strikes and defensive counter-air operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Aircrew members assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform pre-flight checks prior to flying a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The squadron’s primary objective is the protection and support of Coalition forces on the ground via precision strikes and defensive counter-air operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Aircrew members assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform pre-flight checks prior to flying a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS is deployed from Seymour Johnson  Air Force Base, N. C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Aircrew members assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform pre-flight checks prior to flying a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N. C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS flies the F-15E Strike Eagle, a dual-role fighter designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS flies the F-15E Strike Eagle, a dual-role fighter designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS flies the F-15E Strike Eagle, a dual-role fighter designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 3, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS flies the F-15E Strike Eagle, a dual-role fighter designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Crews assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron prepare F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron for sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS, supported by aircraft maintenance professionals, flies combat sorties day and night -- protecting Coalition forces as they work towards the elimination of remaining ISIS fighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

Crews assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron prepare F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron for sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS, supported by aircraft maintenance professionals, flies combat sorties day and night -- protecting Coalition forces as they work towards the elimination of remaining ISIS fighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares waits for clearance to taxi, prior to a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS arrives in the region after a recent string of major victories for Coalition forces on the ground and will look to capitalize on that momentum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares waits for clearance to taxi, prior to a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. The 336th EFS arrives in the region after a recent string of major victories for Coalition forces on the ground and will look to capitalize on that momentum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his weapons and survival equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia.  In addition to the equipment required to safely operate high-performance combat aircraft, aircrew members also carry items designed to help them survive and get to safety in the event of a mishap. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

An aircrew member assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares his weapons and survival equipment for a sortie in support of Operation Inherent Resolve objectives November 7, 2017 in Southwest Asia. In addition to the equipment required to safely operate high-performance combat aircraft, aircrew members also carry items designed to help them survive and get to safety in the event of a mishap. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz)

SOUTHWEST ASIA --

The first F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia late last month, kicking off a unique new phase of Operation Inherent Resolve.

 

The 336th EFS, supported and directed by the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, will serve as the primary source of air power in the region== performing targeted air strikes, defensive counter-air measures, and precision close-air support for Coalition forces on the ground.

 

“Our team is thrilled to be here doing our part to support the Coalition,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson, 336th EFS commander. “We’ve been training for a long time, not only as a squadron, but as individuals as well, in order to protect our people on the ground.”

 

The “Rocketeers” arrive in the region after a recent string of victories for the Coalition, highlighted by the liberation of the Islamic State’s claimed capital, Raqqa, in late October. In the past six months, the outgoing 492nd EFS had a major impact on the fight== dropping more than 4,000 bombs and executing two air-to-air kills on adversary drones. Surrounded on all sides, and flushed out of their major strongholds, Air Force leadership expects that remaining ISIS forces will either give up or splinter off into smaller, more desperate, less predictable groups. The 336 EFS will meet the new challenge with a new approach.

 

“What the prior squadron saw, and what we’re seeing as well, is that the fight changes every single day. As it ebbs and flows, it’s important that we’re able to adapt to the mission that’s required of us,” said Swanson. “Though we may not be bombing ISIS compounds every day, there are still tens of thousands of people who need protecting from those who would do them grave harm.”

 

Though ISIS has been expelled from control in most of its former safe-havens, pockets of resistance will persist for some time. Meanwhile, the air space above the region will remain a complicated operations environment as various factions vie for influence over how the region is re-structured. Geopolitics aside, Rocketeer aircrews will remain focused on the task for which they’ve been training the past nine months.

 

“The prior squadron {492nd EFS} did a great job of reaching back to us as we worked through our training scenarios,” one 336th EFS aircrew member said. “They helped us to realize that while we may expect to drop a lot of bombs, the defensive counter-air mission set is going to be vital going forward.”

 

As this fight nears its end, the Rocketeers will look to measure their own success not by the number of bombs dropped, but by the effectiveness of their presence in all aspects; most importantly, the protection of the warfighters below.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.