US Gulf air power on show

Photo: An F-35A will full weapons load at Al Dhafra in May. USAF


The US military has made no secret of the increase in its air power deployed to the Persian Gulf region as tensions run high with Iran. The USAF now has 30 F-15E Strike Eagles under Central Command, with a dozen examples from the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron ‘Rocketeers’ having arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, on June 13. A further 18 F-15Es from the 335th EFS ‘Chiefs’ are stationed at an undisclosed location in the region.

Al Dhafra is currently hosting F-35As from Hill AFB as well as F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath’s 493rd EFS.

F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th EFS at Al Dhafra Air Base alongside F-15C Eagles and F-35A Lightning IIs. USAF/SSgt Chris Thornbury

CENTCOM released imagery of two F-35A that flew Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ missions in full external loadout in May. The aircraft carried six GBU-49s, a pair of AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9X Sidewinders.

The USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron are also available to military planner, should the need arise.

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) — CSG-12
Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) AG
Squadron Nickname Aircraft MoDex
VFA-143 ‘Pukin’ Dogs’ F/A-18E 1xx
VFA-103 ‘Jolly Rogers’ F/A-18F 2xx
VFA-86 ‘Sidewinders’ F/A-18E 3xx
VFA-25 ‘Fist of the Fleet’ F/A-18E 4xx
VAQ-140 ‘Patriots’ EA-18G 5xx
VAW-121 ‘Bluetails’ E-2D 6xx
HSC-5 ‘Nightdippers’ MH-60S 61x
HSM-79 ‘Griffins’ MH-60R 7xx

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a USAF B-52H Stratofortress of the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. US Navy/MCS1C Brian M. Wilbur

Posted in News


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