Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs, HE Dr. Khalid Mohammed Al Attiyah, visited on 28 March 2017 Seymour Johnson (SJ) Air Force Base to experience the power and capabilities of the F-15E Strike Eagle firsthand.
Dr. Al Attiyah first received a tour and mission briefing of the F-15E from Lt. Colonel Dave Haworth, Office of Military Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Qatar. Haworth stressed the critical role the aircraft provides Combatant Commanders in their objectives to destroy and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“The Strike Eagle has contributed to destroying or damaging over 31,900 targets as part of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE,” said Haworth.
Colonel Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing Commander, added that U.S. and coalition aircraft have conducted more than 16,600 strikes in Iraq and Syria in support of OIR.
After a tour of the 334th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Al Attiyah visited the 334th Fighter Squadron and was greeted by Lt. Colonel Levi Hall, 334th FS Commander.
Haworth updated his Excellency on details regarding Qatar’s potential multi-billion dollar purchase of over 30 F-15QA aircraft.
Following a few more briefings, the Qatari Minister and Brigadier General Eisa Rashid Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Qatar Eagle Committee, were fitted for flight equipment so they could experience the Strike Eagle in action.
Within a short amount of time, the delegation was on its way to a pair of F-15E’s on the flight line.
Captain Scott Harbison and Capt. Jared Krueger, 334th FS pilots, said they were excited to fly the distinguished visitors and show them the Strike Eagle’s capability.
“Having the chance to take his Excellency up in the air and show how amazing our F-15E’s are is a once in a lifetime event,” said Harbison.
The flight started with both Strike Eagles reaching maximum altitude directly after takeoff. After their flight, the jets landed and his Excellency set foot on the ground he was recently miles above.
“It’s was an honor to host his Excellency and have him fly in one of our phenomenal war-fighting machines. Qatar is not just a mission partner in the Middle East, they are a vital team member in stopping ISIS and maintaining peace within the region,” Sage said.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is located in the southeast section of Goldsboro, North Carolina in the middle of Wayne County. The base occupies 3,300 acres. Goldsboro is a medium sized town with a moderate cost of living. The base is located in the coastal plains of North Carolina, providing easy access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains, and a wide variety of recreational activities in between.
As one of the Air Forces most distinguished fighter wings, Seymour Johnson Field, was activated in June 1942, and was deactivated in May 1946. Community leaders, led by Goldsboro Mayor Scott B. Berkeley, Sr., were successful in their campaign to reactivate the base in 1956. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base became active as a Tactical Air Command base, and has been an active Air Combat Command (ACC) base since the Air Force's reorganization in June 1992. The 4th Fighter Wing was redesignated 4th Tactical Fighter Wing in July 1958; 4th Wing in April 1991; and 4th Fighter Wing in December 1995.
The 4th Fighter Wing is home to the multi-role, all-weather F-15E Strike Eagle and provides worldwide deployable aircraft and personnel capable of executing combat missions in support of the Aerospace Expeditionary Force. The wing also provides logistical support to an Air Force Reserve KC-135R unit.