By Spc. Danny Hough, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
The Department of the Air Force selected the 159th Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, to receive 18 new F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets.
The new jets are slated to replace aging F-15C and F-15D jets that the 159th currently operate after the Department of the Air Force complete an environmental impact analysis, which is scheduled to conclude in spring 2024.
“I extend my personal gratitude,” said Maj. Gen. Keith Waddell, the adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, “to our Governor, Congressional delegation, the Louisiana Economic Development team, local community leaders, the United States Air Force, the National Guard Bureau leadership and the service members of the Louisiana National Guard for the significant time and effort spent in getting us to this monumental decision.”
The 159th Fighter Wing provides highly trained Airmen to support state and federal missions, to include overseas deployments and natural disaster relief. The 159th is also part of a network of military units tasked with NORAD’s (North American Aerospace Defense Command) around-the-clock aerospace control alert mission to protect the skies over the United States and Canada from airspace threats or aggression.
“For the alert mission, we have jets that are armed and pilots that are ready to go on a minute’s notice to be able to defend the Gulf coast,” said Col. Jonathan Mumme, commander of the 159th. “It’s critical to have the right aircraft to face future threats to our national security and this decision is the Air Force’s acknowledgement that we are a premier organization.”