JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va --
Four U.S. Air Force fighter jets practice for the inauguration flyover at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Jan. 19.
Two generations of fighter aircraft are scheduled to fly in a close formation during the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump at the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia, Jan. 20.
The aircraft performing the flyover are an F-15 Eagle from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw AFB, South Carolina, an F-22 Raptor from JBLE, and the F-35 Lightning II from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
“Our mixed formation of fourth generation fighters along with our fifth generation fighters truly represents how the [U.S. Air Force] fights,” said Lt. Col. John Echols, 94th Fighter Squadron commander and formation lead. “Symbolically it’s appropriate that the F-22 is out front as it is the world’s most capable fifth generation fighter aircraft.”
According to Echols, the F-22 and F-35 are more survivable in contested airspace and complement each other in their role to establish and maintain air superiority. Gaining air superiority enables the 4th generation fighters, whether that’s an F-15 or F-16 in this case, to employ their substantial capabilities against any enemy.
“Our team [at JBLE] is well trained and very focused on accomplishing any mission we are given, whether this is in combat, training or a high-visibility flyover,” said Echols. “At the end of the day, we just want to represent our Air Force and the American people to the best of our ability. We want to make them proud.”