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F-15EX Strike Eagle II


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Non-rated Capt here, attempting to go CSO at the next rated board, but do any CSOs in the business have any intel on how the Strike Eagle II replacing the F-15 C/Ds will affect the CSO career field? They will all be two-seaters/WSO capable I've read, but not sure if the AF will use WSOs in the air superiority mission. I imagine they still will for the current Strike Eagles getting replaced by Eagle IIs, but not sure. I've not been able to find any info on that, and I've been super curious. 

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From what I understand the F-15 EX Eagle II is replacing, in part, the single-seat F-15 C/D models, not the F-15E Strike Eagle, i.e. the one with the WSOs onboard. Boeing apparently offered that as a possibility back in 2020, but I haven't seen any movement on that actually happening; perhaps someone in the Strike Eagle community can speak to that more intelligently.

It should not make a big difference one way or the other. Either the Strike Eagle will continue on unchanged, get replaced with a two-seat EX, or by the single-seat F-35, meaning slightly less CSO seats in the Air Force, or who knows. It doesn't really impact you as a individual unless you're actively a WSO in that community already.

And most importantly, don't put the cart before the horse...there are plenty of platforms with CSOs/WSOs/etc. and if you're trying to board for CSO, I would get excited about the possibilities of any/all of them. I might recommend shooting for the U-28 or the AC-130J just based on my experience but YMMV 🇺🇸

Good luck!

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To answer at least part of your question, the current plan is to use the EX as a C model replacement. That means a lot of different things depending on who you ask. Some people think that all guard units want is something to go fly CT BFM on weekends, some say they need it for homeland defense, some want it to pick up all or some of a multi role mission.

To answer the other part of your question, Strike Eagles aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. Meaning that you would still be able to fly them for the better part of your flying career, if not the whole career. 

My long term hunch is that it will look something similar to a Super Hornet fleet, with different squadrons picking up different missions depending on pilot only, pilot/WSO, E or EX. That's what I would do if I were king, but I clearly have my biases. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/20/2022 at 5:16 PM, flying_pig said:


Can I get your thoughts on the potential of being a CSO in the new Armed Overwatch airframe?


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

Nothing has been selected yet and I am still in the camp of, "I'll believe it's happening when I see it on the ramp." Light attack and active duty AFSOC MC-12s were ideas that got really close to happening and then just didn't.

It should be really cool overall, and Armed Overwatch will be a replacement for the U-28 fleet (in theory), so talk to an active U-28 CSO and ask them about their job. I'm happy to put you in touch with some if you DM me.

ACJ CSOs should be able to speak competently too since those two communities share a lot of overlap in technology, mission sets, and mentality from my experience at least.

If you want to fly Armed Overwatch, graduate Nav school #1 and rank U-28s at the top of your list. And probably put ACJs #2.

Edited by nsplayr
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/6/2022 at 12:24 PM, AlexLM12 said:

Non-rated Capt here, attempting to go CSO at the next rated board, but do any CSOs in the business have any intel on how the Strike Eagle II replacing the F-15 C/Ds will affect the CSO career field? They will all be two-seaters/WSO capable I've read, but not sure if the AF will use WSOs in the air superiority mission. I imagine they still will for the current Strike Eagles getting replaced by Eagle IIs, but not sure. I've not been able to find any info on that, and I've been super curious. 

Not to bust your bubble, OP, but the only place I’ve heard it called Strike Eagle II is your post. All the official literature calls it the “Eagle II”. That in and of itself is telling as to what Big AF intends to do with this platform, if it even survives. 
 


Read this 

 

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12 hours ago, 08Dawg said:

Not to bust your bubble, OP, but the only place I’ve heard it called Strike Eagle II is your post. All the official literature calls it the “Eagle II”. That in and of itself is telling as to what Big AF intends to do with this platform, if it even survives. 
 


Read this 

 

Yes, I think the title of the program does indicate their intent for the platform. I only titled it as such because it is essentially a newly updated Strike Eagle, still with 2-seats, and was wondering if a Strike Eagle II would ever exist. I think it might but only if the F-15 C/D capability gets fully replaced first or if the current Strike Eagle begins to fail in some sense. I'm outside the field so I don't have any insight beyond what's publicly discussed. 

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On 6/6/2022 at 3:36 PM, nsplayr said:

From what I understand the F-15 EX Eagle II is replacing, in part, the single-seat F-15 C/D models, not the F-15E Strike Eagle, i.e. the one with the WSOs onboard. Boeing apparently offered that as a possibility back in 2020, but I haven't seen any movement on that actually happening; perhaps someone in the Strike Eagle community can speak to that more intelligently.

It should not make a big difference one way or the other. Either the Strike Eagle will continue on unchanged, get replaced with a two-seat EX, or by the single-seat F-35, meaning slightly less CSO seats in the Air Force, or who knows. It doesn't really impact you as a individual unless you're actively a WSO in that community already.

And most importantly, don't put the cart before the horse...there are plenty of platforms with CSOs/WSOs/etc. and if you're trying to board for CSO, I would get excited about the possibilities of any/all of them. I might recommend shooting for the U-28 or the AC-130J just based on my experience but YMMV 🇺🇸

Good luck!

Yeah, I don't even think the F-15E would be my first choice as a CSO anyway, that would be B-1 or AC-130, but I've heard F-15Es tend to drop more than those two airframes and I would want any WSO spot on those or the BUFF over RC-135/AWACS/EC-130

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