Living under Sequestration at Seymour Johnson

The Washington Post profiled airmen at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., looking at what life is like for them at the base now that budget sequestration is sinking in and one of the base’s squadrons is not flying. The newspaper talked to pilots, maintainers, and other base officials about the F-15Es of the 336th Fighter Squadron that have not taken to the skies since April 9. The lack of flying time is wearing on the unit’s crews, according to the newspaper’s May 27 report. Pilots now train regularly on the advanced simulators at the base, but the experience is limited. “The smell, the feel, the heat, the frigging everything” is different, said Capt. Kevin Murphy, one of the squadron’s pilots. “You don’t fly for a month, it’s tough to even start the engine again,” he added. The squadron’s standdown is affecting qualifications and readiness rates—and fighter crew certifications will impact follow-on assignments, according to the newspaper. While the 336th FS is not flying, the base’s two training squadrons and other F-15E combat-coded unit, the 335th FS, still are.