(GDN) – The eagle has landed…literally…at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. On Friday, the airmen with the 336th Fighter Squadron and F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing arrived from a six month deployment at Lask Air Base in Poland and the European area of operations. Approximately 200 members were reunited with their families for the first time since they left last October.
Captain Victoria Beck aka “Stagger” says we are in safe hands, “We’re always here to defend, protect, we love our country, we love all of you. And we are here to be able to be those people that say. No, we’re not gonna let anything happen to you guys. We’re here to take care of you.”
The Strike Eagles arrived in Europe as part of operation Castle Forge on October 6, 2021 and conducted training alongside the Hellenic Air Force at Larissa Air Base, Greece, from October 11- 17, 2021. Subsets of the unit forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo AB, Bulgaria, and Borcea AB, Romania, from October 18-25, 2021, to exercise Agile Combat Employment elements and conduct vital training alongside the Bulgarian and Romanian air forces before the aircraft returned to Larissa AB, Greece.
From October 30 – November 6, F-15E elements again forward deployed from Larissa Air Base, Greece, to Graf Ignatievo AB, Bulgaria, and Borcea AB, Romania, simulating airfield opening procedures and Agile Combat Employment. Along with combined training between NATO air forces, allied integration expanded to include assets from the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
(photographer: Celeste Ford)