Gunfighter Priority #1: Generate F-15 Sorties
By Col. Jefferson O'Donnell, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published June 26, 2017
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- When I established our number one priority for the 366th Fighter Wing, I could have said "Fly Fighters!" It's bold and looks great on a bumper sticker. I think it falls far short of the real story. After all, military and civilian organizations all over the world fly fighters. What makes us different...what makes us better: Gunfighters Generate F-15 Sorties.
We are Gunfighters, assigned or employed by the United States Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force for a purpose specific and unique to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. We are part of larger organizations—the US Air Force and the Singapore Air Force—and our mission is to fly, fight and win. Over 3,600 U.S. personnel serve in the 366th Fighter Wing; and when we talk about Gunfighters, we add the 390th Electronic Combat Squadron at NAS Whidbey, the 726th Air Control Squadron, the 372 Training Squadron Detachment, the Idaho Air National Guard 266th Range Squadron, and our Singapore partners. We call them Gunfighters because they are part of our team and our family; and they contribute to achieving our 366th Fighter Wing #1 Priority: Generate F-15 Sorties.
Generate means to be the cause of or to define. Every Gunfighter has a role in causing F-15 sorties at Mountain Home AFB. Remove medical care, food, pay, facilities, fitness, education, family support, discipline, fuel, security, heating/ventilation, communications, supply, training, maintenance, range, airspace, air traffic, weather, airfield management, public affairs, protocol, and many other functions...remove any one of those for one week and we’ll lose focus on the mission. Remove them and we’ll erode the ability to continue serving and sacrificing. We’ll lose Airmen, families, and equipment. We'll lose confidence in each other. We’ll lose public confidence in us. F-15 sorties don’t happen without you. When every one of us fulfills our duty, an F-15 sortie is defined.
The results of your daily efforts in achieving Gunfighter Priority #1 are clear. In recent history alone, we have two record-setting AEF deployments by the Bold Tigers and the Thunderbolts. Every visitor to our base praises your professionalism, your teamwork, and your sense of pride. Our mission partners in the Air Force and among service and other agencies know our reputation. When you go on temporary duty assignments and contingency deployments, you stand out as mission-ready followers prepared to take the lead. And when you lead, you lead as proud heirs of the Gunfighter heritage from Colonel Norm Holt and Master Sergeant Chub Tingley to Captain Lance Sijan, Master Sergeant Andy Andrews, and many more.
The security and defense of our nation and our partner nation, Singapore, each depend on the success of every Gunfighter F-15 sortie. Yes, other squadrons generate F-15 sorties for the U.S. and Republic of Singapore Air Forces; but they do not have the unique, integrated, total force team, the preeminent Mountain Home Range Complex, and unwavering state and local support combined with a heritage of courageous innovation and leadership.