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USAF retires F-15Cs from Europe

Four of the final F-15Cs in Europe perform a farewell flypast over RAF Lakenheath on their return to the US on 27 April. (US Air Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) has retired its Boeing F-15C Eagle aircraft from Europe, with the last aircraft departing Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath in the UK on 27 April.

RAF Lakenheath marked the occasion, noting the nearly 30-year service of the air superiority fighter at the home of the 48th Fighter Wing in the UK.

“Today we bid farewell to our F-15C fleet. Since its arrival here in 1994, the Eagle has held a special place in the hearts of our airmen and our wingmen in the local community. The Eagles will begin a new chapter of service in their storied careers as they return home to the US to continue flying in the Air National Guard,” the wing said.

During their tenure at RAF Lakenheath, USAF F-15Cs were deployed throughout the US European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility, and participated in NATO air policing missions in the region, including over the Baltic states, Bulgaria, and Iceland. For their air superiority mission, the F-15Cs typically carried a standard air defence weapons fit of AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles, as well as an internal 20 mm Gatling gun.

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