F-15Cs forward deploy in Exercise Hype Eagle
By Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 30, 2019
The 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron forward deployed two F-15C Eagles and 14 maintainers from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, to Prince Sultan Air Base, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as part of Exercise Hype Eagle.
The adaptive basing exercise tested the Florida Air National Guard’s “Boxing Gators” efficiency and reliability while rapidly relocating to a new environment and remaining mission capable.
“It offers an opportunity to operate out of different airfields, expand our tactical and strategic reach, and partner with other nations for overall common missions,” said Maj. Joseph “Bodhi” Pasko, 159th EFS pilot.
PSAB currently has a small U.S. military presence. According to Pasko, the team remained flexible to accomplish the mission under any conditions.
“The exercise is important because it challenges our ability to move with flexible options throughout the area of operations,” said Pasko.” It proves that we can operate our aircraft out of different airfields in support of our missions and objectives and to strengthen those ties with other nations that we are working with toward our common goals.”
The Air Base Opening Group, primarily out of the 621st Contingency Response Wing from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is building facilities for an Air Expeditionary Group to support U.S. forces that will operate out of PSAB.
“These exercises help us prepare to better organize, train and equip to keep our adversaries on their toes,” said Col. Brad Hall, ABOG commander. “One of the things that separate the U.S. military from other militaries is our ability to rapidly deploy and execute our mission.”
In July, the Secretary of Defense authorized the movement of U.S. personnel and resources to deploy to Saudi Arabia. PSAB was last used by U.S. forces in 2003.