Strike Eagle delivers airpower, on target, on time, for America

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. William P. Acker
  • 335th Fighter Squadron commander
One of the things I like talking about most is flying fighters, specifically the F-15E Strike Eagle. 

You can only imagine how happy I was when I was asked to write a commentary, and one of the topics was the mighty Strike Eagle. 

Before I get into the accolades of the F-15E, I need to fill you in on my background. 

I entered the Air Force in 1986, and following pilot training, I was fortunate to fly the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. I cut my teeth in what I would call the pre-cursor to the Strike Eagle. 

Many of the missions we did in the Phantom, we still do today in the Strike Eagle, only much better. 

Now, I sit as the commander of one of the formal training units, and my mission is to provide the combat air forces with top quality aircrews, ready to take the fight to our enemies. 

I have extreme confidence in the training they receive and the tools that aircrews have to work with - the mighty Strike Eagle providing airpower for America. 

The F-15E is a multi-role aircraft, which means it does everything. We train our aircrews to fight enemy aircraft on the way to the target, drop a precision-guided weapon into a window from 10 miles away, and then fight enemy aircraft to get back home. 

The unique abilities of the Strike Eagle make it the perfect platform for such missions. We have the legs, or fuel, to go long distances and we have the ability to carry many varied weapons which can do the trick once we have fought our way to our target. 

Currently, we have taken on a new role in the Global War on Terror that is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. As you are reading this, we have Seymour Johnson-trained aircrews, flying over our friendly troops, engaged in battle with our enemies. Our mission now is to help root out those enemies, and protect our ground troops from harm. 

Many times the mission requires patience, but other times, our aircrew will find themselves reacting to life-or-death situations below them. It is during these trying times that our Seymour Johnson-trained aircrews make me the most proud. Our crews, while flying two to three miles high, are finding insurgents in buildings and in cities, surrounded by noncombatants and destroying them with minimal damage to surrounding buildings. 

We are successful at this mission for two reasons. First is because we have to be successful. Our way of life depends on it. Second is because the training these crews have received here from the entire Seymour Johnson team, has been perfectly honed to a razor's edge to provide them the skills needed while under immense pressure. 

What this all boils down to is we have the best trained aircrew in the world, and we have the best equipment in the world to wage and win America's wars. 

The Strike Eagle is a very formidable war machine. With ever-increasing upgrades and newer technology, combined with all of our partners in arms, the Strike Eagle and Seymour Johnson-trained aircrew will be there, providing airpower on-target, on-time for America.