Getting a Taste of Deployment

Fourteen F-15Es and a large group of student pilots and weapons system officers will deploy Saturday, along with their instructors, from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., to Savannah, Ga., to train in an unfamiliar expeditionary environment. Supported by instructors and maintenance personnel from Air Force Reserve Command’s 414th Fighter Group at Seymour Johnson, these students will conduct combat tactics training over the Atlantic Ocean and on unrestricted bombing ranges along the Georgia and Florida coasts. The training is designed to test their comfort zones and prepare them for deployments upon graduation. “We don’t fight wars from home, we deploy. Training like an expeditionary force exposes students and all airmen to every aspect of sustaining and executing the mission on the road,” said Lt. Col. Jefferson O’Donnell, commander of Seymour Johnson’s 333rd Fighter Squadron that trains the F-15E aircrews. (Seymour Johnson report by Robin Mark)