Martha Raddatz Talks to F-15 Pilot in Estonia After Flying Near Russian Border

ABC News' Martha Raddatz sits down with Maj. Ben Leestma and asks questions from Facebook viewers.
14:26 | 08/24/16

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Transcript for Martha Raddatz Talks to F-15 Pilot in Estonia After Flying Near Russian Border
Hey welcome everybody to FaceBook live and ABC's live. I am in you stony which is on the Balkans the Baltic Sea and I am where it. Major and the trap is his call sign least not. He is an F fifteen pilot and he took me flying with him in the backseat today I wasn't really that great of a vaccine here. But he was a terrific pilot wean we're doing an exercise. With the estonians. And in. Before monitored fighter squadron four at ninety five's gluttony etiquette that and at a mosque and you. In his squadron ends. From the 194. Expeditionary fighter squadron. California Guardsmen working out of Fresno California and you have been flying for. Almost fourteen years yes. Fourteen years okay. We think it's helped them at tell everybody a little bit about what we did today. It was I was pretty things about ninety minutes it was little more intense and I imagine it to be I have. Flown in the backseat of an F fifteen before but this. Let's intense because it was. Air to air. And with any idea of the mission first we were on the Russian border I mean at one point you looked over to me and said there's a Russian air field right there and that's about twelve miles away. So we could we can definitely see Russia from where. Where a pitch. Shackles of we were out there practicing air combat. We put up ten at fifteenth and then a single L 39 misdemeanor courts and we were operating in the Estonian if it's. Which is an ignorant few times stick to just say an aircraft that there is amazing it's everywhere you that you can see aircraft and it company. Those X diapers this is exciting for me. We are in the Estonian air space which sits just in the west side of reform and we were. Operating our activities north south. And we started in the south and we were fighting at fifteenth in the north's that we split our forces and then when each other. We were tactical there's ups so in me by the way where the enemy today you're out here in the air threat at me call. Instead OK that Wien we get killed a couple of things we did. Yeah Tigger my commander was leading the forces. He's going through his four foot upgrades that we are supporting that train. And you know. Foresees a fortune slightly. And so our aircraft or perhaps he's been trained to lead four F fifteens. And coordination to accomplish the objective. Tactically intercepting our formation of sixer. We were trying to kill them to and it's their mistakes they could debrief that and learn from it. But we got killed today so it it went down like it's. It just a little bit about what it's like up there right canteen just from my perspective and just how close I went and we. Right Cain. And when of the another left playing. Things happened really fast and here so you've got to be looking outside and then have the cat like reflexes to you respond. On the flight controls. And fighter jet where you need to so we operate with a strict. A series of standards he saw the briefing it's very formal professional tech brief and we expect that brief and we go out. And in every time we come back we debrief to. Did we have to keep that and that we do better next time so as far as being up in the air the geez the airspeed. Everything's happening very very fast all the while you're not just fine aircraft you're operating a weapon system. So you're running it radar. Processing the data that that is providing to you and and as for us in the sea bottom portion air to air missiles so we're trying to. Clean the air picture and verify. That we're able to do that. Okay let me ask a couple of questions before we go to other questions. At 10 when we took off means that was just straight out vertical it was off after burner. That was amazing. But you we're we we're off the ground it seemed like for a little bit maybe you don't think man and then just. And we need to get some air speed because when you pull back on the stick and you at G. To the aircraft we were fighting God's G going up and so that's forcing the aircraft to slow down so we need to get as much speed as possible. And then you felt the the Jesus obvious plaza area and so we started climbing away from the ground as Austin kind of look back and see the airfield racing away from you. And then return to be on their formation and Iraq that experts that we just talked about in and act a couple of the other maneuvers at one point. We were going street. Threatens. Happens. I was I don't know if you saw all three of the aircraft that we're dog fighting below us so they were getting training offered singularly or together we're going and he joins. We were absolutely and then you saw that as we kind of pulled out of that dive than they kind of appeared left and right where in the injured it's. It is and you analyze their retirement by the if it can't genuine burden almost every time. As you can yeah yeah the case you can't OK any questions from people out there. Where. OK very good question Chris as I'm gonna get into Russia because I doubt there have been some very real. Things happening with Russia lately and you probably do unto Michael what about that. But I'll talk about his the routine deployments that we're doing with our NATO partners building partner capacity and working on. Improving interoperability but those are forces so we were task the 104 expeditionary force to come up here with four aircraft and we joined the lake and he F fifteens. And we are training with the Estonian air force for doing multi lateral exercises fly and tackles stories that we talked about and it just happens to be that the airspace that reason sits right over top of this country we've also done exercises this week in the morning before about two Sweden and we us if they would that defense so. Not only NATO alliances but partners throughout years at. In Iowa say it's you don't have to get triple that I spoke to that you stand in president this morning. And also any stone in general and I know they very much appreciate. That you're here and what it shows and they do. Have a lot of concerns about Russia at this point so they're very happy to have you here. And doing what you're doing and helping train. People as well. Oh. You. Hit it. To be honest. Are you my personal opinion is and repeat the question isn't sure everybody heard it our Russian pilots. As good as US pilots when it comes to dog fighting. Answer is knowing how now. And the reasons this could be if out of you gotta be confident in your skills so they are very well trained they're very professional. They're good at what they do they have excellent aircraft so I don't diminish that whatsoever. But hopefully I mean come across the company at fifteen. Depends you asking if you don't that's. Fuels lie here. Are really heavy in your face is sagging into your neck so. The blood wants to rush away from years. Brain which is bad if you're flying and you need to continue to fly so sometimes you lose your vision your vision we'll start to narrow. But they need to squeeze your legs and you apply age he straining maneuver that we're taught from a very very early age and that yet and that usually prevents that. Which was why. Eight hit having not been a fighter pilot for fourteen years. It's it's kind of rough keeping it affect its kind era I mean you really do feel like you're in the past. And for all I know it yet. Back you do do that maneuver and went over that maneuver a little bit. Before handing outside of the G suit which which compresses your waist and and pushes the planet your brain so you can. Statement just just happy. Just been a challenge. It to be there we pulled a lot of g.s today so did you did fantastic for the amount. Yanking and making notes due to net and in the thing. Is that had. Yes oh yes and you know if you go it's one thing if you and it. Funny fact short stocky guys that smoke cigarettes usually do the best appointees so those women. It didn't like his who is now said I think it's. And bad. I think it's. It's the sort of your part to your brain that the blood needs to be pumped up against the disease that your polling so. And its optimum blood pressure with smokers the marathon runners that are tall instance measured yeah okay. I was taken and it barely. Apparently yet it like it's it's just there. There. It's not s's speed is the genes since his season overtimes. Eagle is capable of caring sorry. Maintaining nineties. So. You know you can sit there Bernanke's effort and that's when he seconds potentially. And still. After about fifteen that's when he it's that time. But we're winning that thing that was interesting to me about GE's is I think everybody thinks it. When you go really fast it went straight fast when it go up. It's worth picture here there is acceleration a gee that's applied this direction you know as you accelerate fast. Senses he was asking about speed the F fifteen is capable of reaching a mock. 2.5. In the old days we take it up to about one and a half times. So little. And cleaning up. He's got a great story about yes does get their dad and my dad. Kind of famous. Not really living up to you doing Hughes just yet but everybody Google as he was the Naval Academy finished first in his class and bikinis Rio in the F fourteen. Topic. So is around flying experience known yes. And so. I saw that Rios back to. Rios again and actually he's oh with so an air force turned weapons systems officer but that's it's in the backseat and that. You know it's your dad you you kind of want to. One up limit when you can't so when I started beat him on the golf course I was really proud of that and then went to the air force academy. Best chance to fly and I was lucky to get things lots of I just. Was around it I enjoyed it when the phones for Stetson. He became an astronaut flew three times space so that's kind of forum fall short you are sad it's. But I fear it. Yeah oh. So this could last all night but are keeping everybody even best part showcase. Yet so usually it begins as you get your first combat units. And it's it's based on ace that's. The foreigners act that you might have done and using its gets spun and do a story that's about 10%. Through minimum temperature but usually close to that. And then for me trap is. It's a tanker story I had trouble getting gas from a tanker. In the air aerial refueling jets that were trying to view gate. Geek gas liking continued to Las Vegas everybody loves going Las Vegas and my commander almost had few escort back home to where we took off from. Because I was having such trouble so stand for tanker request another practice. And the boomer that day. Over their radius he asked my commander who was in the formation I needed to get a couple more of them to practice. As the trees. Stays with you forever and we met dickert today turn who. In our bigger and bigger and bigger until yeah Dicker into her. Scanlon month it's that he thinks the city to send yourself more time. Well specific for me come try to get a good night's sleep. Having its cigar. And then. You know trying to get shorter and hitting up your ethic. No hydration is key and getting their right minds at CB can't compartmentalize. Anything can be on personally. Or outside of an airplane is. Guest star on the aircraft displeased or burning that fuel people that he's you really gotta focus. Six. Very very focused. In. And I get excited because I loved to do when it is so that kind of fumes as well how it's how knowingly. Acted not at all now. It was. Here for yet but that's your four and we are going to have a whole lot more on this story and what we did today. We'll let you know and it's happening thinking so thank you okay thanks so go get some sleep safe and fighting crime but they are. Thanks a lot.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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