US 142nd Wg F 15EX credit OR ANG 640First Eagle II delivered to Redhawks

On 5 June 2024, Boeing Defense delivered the first F-15EX Eagle II to the 123rd Fighter Squadron Redhawks, part of the 142nd Wing, at Portland Air National Guard Base, Oregon.

This milestone marks the first delivery to an operational unit within the USAF. This week's delivery comes later than programme officials had hoped, as the programme experienced roughly a year of delays due to manufacturing issues. Despite this, the Air Force previously maintained that the programme was not at risk of a schedule breach as long as Boeing delivered the remaining six aircraft to the service by the end of this month.

That batch of six fighters, known as the programme’s lot 1B, consisted of four test aircraft and two operational fighters. The two operational fighters are 20-0007 (c/n EX-7) and 20-0008 (c/n EX-8), respectively. EX-8 is the jet that touched down on 5 June, and EX-7 is expected “in the next couple of weeks and anticipated before July,” according to a Boeing spokesperson.

Boeing Defense posted a small video on social media showing both aircraft receiving their final touches with the well-known customised tail flashes for the 142nd Wing.

In April 2021, Scramble Magazine first reported on the name of the newest fighter aircraft, the Eagle II, and that next to the test aircraft, the 173rd FS (OR ANG) at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base would be the first unit in line to receive the Eagle II. However, this has changed to the other Oregon-based F-15 unit because the USAF decided that the 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field would become a Formal Training Unit (FTU) for the F-35A Lightning II rather than the F-15EX.

The following fighter squadrons will receive the F-15EX:

122nd FS Bayou Militia ('JZ'), part of 159th FW, at New Orleans NAS JRB (LA)
194th FS Griffins, part of 144th FW, at Fresno/Fresno Yosemite International (CA)
44th FS Vampires and 67th FS Fighting Cocks ('ZZ'), part of 18th Wing, at Kadena Air Base (Japan)

Credit photo: 142nd Wing

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