F-15 Pilots Take on the Gripen

Pilots of the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, Britain, recently squared off against Swedish Gripens as their F-15s escorted RAF Tornados on strikes against simulated targets across Britain during Operation Joint Warrior 2010. Flying the adversary role, the Swedish air force Gripens gave the USAF F-15 pilots, most of whom had not flown against Gripens before, the rare opportunity to fly against the unfamiliar type. “It’s really nice to get some dissimilar aircraft training instead of just flying against each other,” said Capt. James Farrow, a 493rd FS flight commander. This year’s scenario involved three-sovereign states, disputed territory, and terrorist movements, according to a British defense ministry release. Joint Warrior is Britain’s largest airborne exercise and Europe’s largest military exercise overall, bringing together air, land, and sea elements. More than 8,000 servicemen from 14 nations participated this year. (Lakenheath report by SrA. David Dobrydney)