Two Fighter Units Reach Single Month High Mark

An A-10 unit and an F-15E unit deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan have amassed more than 5,000 combat flying hours in a single month, during combat operations in May. The A-10 pilots and maintainers deployed from the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga., as the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, while the F-15E airmen deployed from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., as the 336th EFS. Col. Dave Blanks, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Bagram, said, “I can’t begin to tell you how proud we are of our combined maintenance and operations team.” He continued, “Both units have flown more hours in a single month than any previous fighter squadron deployed here.” Blanks called the feat “unprecedented” since the 5,000 hours represents five or six months flying in the states. Col. Raymond Strasburger, 455th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, commented that he “had never seen a work relationship between the operations group and maintenance group like this.” He added: “Our guys are out there making it happen, working long hours and sometimes under less than optimal conditions without a complaint. … We never stop because there’s always someone out there with their life on the line who’s depending on us.” (Bagram report by SSgt. Jason Lake)