The U.S. Air Force has deployed F-15C Eagle fighter jets to Starokostiantyniv Air Base in Ukraine, announced on official 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard Twitter account on 25 September.
Thefirst Eagle was flown by Lt. Col. Christopher Ridlon, commander of the 194th Fighter Squadron.
According to the statement, U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter jets from the California Air National Guard have landed for the first time ever on Ukranian soil to participate in Clear Sky 2018 exercise.
Clear Sky 2018 is a joint and multinational exercise that will involve approximately 950 personnel from nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the California Air National Guard and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command’s State Partnership Program, and this exercise will include robust participation of California ANG units. Aircraft from California units will include F-15C Eagles and a C-130J Super Hercules.
Other U.S. aircraft participating in the exercise will include an F-15D from the 48th Fighter Wing, KC-135s from the Illinois ANG and the 100th Air Refueling Wing, and MQ-9s operating out of Miroslawiec AB, Poland. The Pennsylvania ANG will provide Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructors, and several additional units from California, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Alaska, Washington and bases in Europe are also scheduled to participate.
Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery.
This exercise aims to enhance regional capabilities to secure air sovereignty and promote peace and security through cooperation, collaboration and interoperability with NATO partners and other allies in the region.