Air Force’s F-15 Grounding Affects War in Afghanistan

Nov 6, 2007 6:29pm

The U.S. Air Force’s grounding of all F-15s after a crash last week in Missouri had some unintended consequences for operations in the air war over Afghanistan as the Navy has taken over missions being flown there by F-15s. At the time of the Nov. 3 grounding of all F-15s, the Air Force said operations over the Middle East would be affected and would be taken over by other aircraft. "The Air Force will ensure mission requirements are met for worldwide operations normally accomplished by the F-15," the Air Force had said. "Current F-15 flying locations include bases in the continental United States, Alaska, England, Hawaii, Japan and the Middle East." Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. F-15s were not flying missions over Iraq, so only missions over Afghanistan would be affected by the grounding.     A defense official tells ABC News that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise sailed out of the Persian Gulf Monday to the Arabian Sea. Its planes began flying missions over Afghanistan   earlier today. It is unclear how long the USS Enterprise will stay in the Arabian Sea as it is scheduled to leave the Middle East in early December. The Air Force grounded its F-15 fleet as a precautionary measure after a crash earlier this month involving a Missouri Air National Guard F-15. Although that accident is still under investigation, preliminary findings indicate the crash was due to a structural failure of the aircraft. The pilot in that aircraft was able to safely eject himself from the plane. There are more than 700 F-15s in the Air Force’s inventory.    Krista Kjellman contributed to this report.  Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?

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