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SJAFB highlights unique programs, air superiority role to 9th AF leadership

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen showcased base improvements and mission accomplishments during a visit Feb. 15 by Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, 9th Air Force commander.

Zobrist visited Team Seymour as part of his effort to learn what Airmen's issues are and understand their mission to better advocate on their behalf at the Major Command level.

Zobrist met with Airmen from the 335th Fighter Squadron who recently returned from a deployment supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Southwest Asia.

According to Lt. Col. Brandon Johnson, 335th FS commander, F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and weapon systems officers from the squadron flew more than 1,200 sorties into Iraq and Syria in support of OIR, dropped more than 2,000 bombs on various Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets and flew more than 9,250 combat hours taking out more than 1,950 enemies.

Capt. Ryan Morris, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer-in-charge, said ground crews ran 24/7 operations to ensure the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft could complete combatant commander's directives at optimum performance levels.

That part of the unit's success can be attributed to the training received during Razor Talon, a monthly low-cost, large-force training exercise for aviation units along the East Coast, said Col. Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing commander.

The exercise provides unique training opportunities and scenarios involving friendly forces fighting through contested airspace while destroying air-to-air and air-to-surface simulated threats along the North Carolina coast and Mid-Atlantic region.

As part of Zobrist's visit, he joined in the grand opening for the new 4th Operations Support Squadron Weapons and Tactics Razor Talon War Room.

The war room advances mission capabilities and enhances communications during future exercises via software and connectivity upgrades.

"This new building has the means to further support joint exercises between the branches during Razor Talon," Zobrist said. "The exercise now has a greater potential and importance than ever."

As Zobrist's priorities involve not only the mission but Airmen and their families, he also learned about Team Seymour's Make It Better initiative where he met with representatives from the cooking, fashion, computer, radio control and book clubs, thanking Airmen for promoting morale and camaraderie.

"It's wonderful that numerous clubs have been created, and Airmen are able to enjoy themselves," Zobrist said. "I also thank the leadership for encouraging and helping the Airmen make Seymour Johnson such an energetic base."

The MIB initiative began in November 2014 and inspires members with similar interests and hobbies to collaborate, create a sense of community, develop leadership skills and improve themselves and the base.

In parting, Zobrist said Seymour Johnson AFB is a vital part of maintaining air superiority in support of national defense and global operations and thanked the Airmen of the 4th FW for their hard work and continued dedication to achieving the mission.