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Eagles return home: 194th EFS completes European deployment

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the California and Massachusetts Air National Guard peel away from formation at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, Engand, Sept. 28, 2016. The aircraft stopped at RAF Lakenheath on their way to their home station after participating in a joint NATO air policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the California and Massachusetts Air National Guard peel away from formation at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, Engand, Sept. 28, 2016. The aircraft stopped at RAF Lakenheath on their way to their home station after participating in a joint NATO air policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle taxis after landing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Sept. 28, 2016. The aircraft stopped at RAF Lakenheath on its way to their home station after participating in a joint NATO air policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle taxis after landing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Sept. 28, 2016. The aircraft stopped at RAF Lakenheath on its way to their home station after participating in a joint NATO air policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle remains parked on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 7, 2016. Four F-15Cs assigned to the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle remains parked on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 7, 2016. Four F-15Cs assigned to the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft assigned to the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, flies over the flightline during the Romanian air force's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016. The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the 194th EFS' six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, Calif., as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft assigned to the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, flies over the flightline during the Romanian air force's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016. The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the 194th EFS' six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, Calif., as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)

California Air National Guard Maj. Brett Faber, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot, looks at the controls of his aircraft on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

California Air National Guard Maj. Brett Faber, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot, looks at the controls of his aircraft on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle lands on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle lands on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle takes off from the flightline on Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle takes off from the flightline on Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

California Air National Guard Capt. Matthew Young, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot, speaks with crew chiefs on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

California Air National Guard Capt. Matthew Young, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot, speaks with crew chiefs on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron patch remains affixed to the flightsuit of a California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot inside the squadron’s flight operations room at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron patch remains affixed to the flightsuit of a California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilot inside the squadron’s flight operations room at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

A flight formation of Romanian air force MiG-21 LanceR aircraft and U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft fly during the RoAF's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016.  The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the U.S. Air Force's 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, California, as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)
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A flight formation of Romanian air force MiG-21 LanceR aircraft and U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft fly during the RoAF's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016. The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the U.S. Air Force's 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, California, as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)

A collection of helmets belonging to California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilots remain on a table at the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s flight operations room at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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A collection of helmets belonging to California Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft pilots remain on a table at the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s flight operations room at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

California Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Zechery Blackburn, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron crew chief, signals to the pilot of an F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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California Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Zechery Blackburn, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron crew chief, signals to the pilot of an F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft on the flightline at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2016. Four of the squadron’s F-15Cs will conduct joint NATO air policing missions with the Bulgarian air force to police the host nation’s sovereign airspace Sept. 9-16, 2016. The squadron forward deployed to Graf Ignatievo from Campia Turzii, Romania, where they serve on a theater security package deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Matei Codobam, 7, looks inside the cockpit of Massaschusetts Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANG Base, Mass., while California ANG Lt. Col. Paul Shamy, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C pilot, waits to pose for a photo taken by Matei's family during the Romanian air force's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016. The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the U.S. Air Force's 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, Calif., as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. The 194th EFS partnered with the 104th EFS's previous deployment as part of the theater security package, including a contingent of 104th FW aircraft which remained at Campia Turzii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)
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Matei Codobam, 7, looks inside the cockpit of Massaschusetts Air National Guard F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANG Base, Mass., while California ANG Lt. Col. Paul Shamy, a 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15C pilot, waits to pose for a photo taken by Matei's family during the Romanian air force's 71st Air Base's air show and open house at Campia Turzii, Romania, July 23, 2016. The aviation demonstration took place during the middle of the U.S. Air Force's 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's six-month long theater security package deployment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which aims to bolster the U.S.'s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. The unit, comprised of more than 200 CANG Airmen from the 144th Fighter Wing at Fresno ANG Base, Calif., as well as U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, piloted, maintained and supported the deployment of 12 F-15Cs Eagle fighter aircraft throughout nations like Romania, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Estonia and among others. The F-15Cs took to the skies alongside the 71st AB's MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Puma helicopters for both the airshow, the second engagement of its kind at Campia Turzii under Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the bilateral flight training, also known as Dacian Eagle 2016. The 194th EFS partnered with the 104th EFS's previous deployment as part of the theater security package, including a contingent of 104th FW aircraft which remained at Campia Turzii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

The 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron recently completed its six-month theater security package deployment to Europe.

The squadron’s 12 F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft and more than 300 California Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing deployed from Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.

“The TSP mission was critical in demonstrating to our allies in Eastern Europe that the United States is a reliable NATO member and dedicated to stability in the region,” said California ANG Lt. Col. Robert Swertfager, 194th EFS commander.

 

The squadron initially deployed alongside the 131st EFS, originally from the Massachusetts ANG 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes ANGB, Massachusetts, in March 2016.  Throughout their deployment, both ANG units received continued logistical and mission support backing through the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.


The 194th EFS participated with their Bay State counterparts during Frisian Flag 2016 at Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, and Icelandic Air Policing at Keflavik International Airport, Iceland.

 

Swertfager said the most challenging aspect of the deployment centered on concurrently running flying operations at both a main base of operations and smaller micro-deployments in other countries.

 

The squadron participated in various exercises from their main operating base at Campia Turzii, Romania, as well as joint air policing at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, which represented the first joint NATO operations of its kind in that country.

 

The end result culminated in more than 500 flying sorties while integrating with pilots from nine countries including Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

“Our EFS met these challenges head-on,” said “We found success in all of them through solid planning, communication and focus on the mission.” 

 

Swertfager also said the deployment provided multiple opportunities for his Airmen to integrate with allied nations during complex flying scenarios. 

 

“This training is invaluable to our pilots,” he said. “It is not every day that we can merge with MiG-29s, MiG-21s, Typhoons and Gripens.”

           

Yet Swertfager cited seeing the squadron accomplish 100 percent of USAFE’s tasking as the most rewarding aspect of the deployment.

 

“We safely deployed, executed the mission in Eastern Europe then redeployed 12 F-15Cs and 297 Airmen back home,” he said. “This was the first major deployment for the 194th FS and 144th FW since converting from the F-16 to the F-15C Eagle and our successful deployment is a milestone for the unit.”