Happy Friday, FighterSweep Fans! It is the time where we once again pay our weekly respects to the glory and magnificence of glowing, roaring, air-bending reheat. So this week’s offering comes to us courtesy of a Mighty Mighty from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing, based at Fresno, California.

The 144th Fighter Wing’s primary federal mission under Title 10 is to provide homeland air defense, known as Aerospace Control Alert, for California and the United States from the Mexican border to Oregon. In its state mission under Title 32, the 144th also supports the nation’s Counter Drug Program and responds to state emergencies as requested by the Governor of California.

The wing previously flew the Viper, having transferred the last F-16C aircraft to the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd FW in November 2013. The wing’s current inventory of aircraft includes 21 F-15C/Ds and consists of 18 Primary Aircraft Authorized (PAA), with 3 Backup Aircraft Inventory (BAI). The Eagles came (with much consternation) from the Montana ANG, Missouri ANG, and Nellis AFB.

"PK," a pilot with the 194th Fighter Squadron "Griffins," flies off the wing of another F-15 during exercise Sentry Eagle 2015. Photo by Scott Wolff.
“PK,” a pilot with the 194th Fighter Squadron “Griffins,” flies off the wing of another F-15 during exercise Sentry Eagle 2015. Photo by Scott Wolff.

The 144th has had its up and downs since 2010 and now, just over three years since its first F-15 arrived in Fresno, the Griffins and their Eagles are on the verge of receiving the signature that will declare them FOC, or Full Operational Capability. In the recent months, the unit has taken part in several major Large Force Employment exercises, Sentry Eagle, Sentry Griffin, and now Red Flag period 16-1.

If all goes at planned, the 144th will receive the signature it needs and in a relatively short period of time, will be deploying as part of a Theater Security Package.

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