SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --
Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs, his Excellency Dr. Khalid Mohammed Al Attiyah, visited March 28 to experience the power and capabilities of the F-15E Strike Eagle.
His Excellency first received a tour and mission briefing on the F-15E from U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dave Haworth, Office of Military Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Qatar.
Haworth stressed the critical role the aircraft provides to destroy and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“The Strike Eagle has contributed to destroying or damaging over 31,900 targets as part of Operation Inherent Resolve,” Haworth said.
U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing commander, added U.S. and coalition aircraft have conducted more than 16,600 strikes in Iraq and Syria in support of OIR.
After a tour of the 334th Fighter Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit, his Excellency visited the 334th FS and was greeted by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Levi Hall, 334th FS commander.
Haworth updated his Excellency on details regarding Qatar’s potential multi-billion dollar purchase of more than 30 F-15QA aircraft.
Following a few more briefings, his Excellency and Qatar Emiri air force Brig. Gen. Eisa Rashid Al Mohannadi, chairman of the Qatar Eagle Committee, were fitted for flight equipment so they could experience the Strike Eagle in action.
Within a short amount of time, the delegation was on its way to a pair of F-15E’s on the flightline.
U.S. Air Force Capts. Scott Harbison and Jared Krueger, 334th FS pilots, said they were excited to fly the distinguished visitors and show them the Strike Eagle’s capability.
“Having the chance to take his Excellency up in the air and show how amazing our F-15E’s are is a once in a lifetime event,” Harbison said.
The flight started with both Strike Eagles reaching maximum altitude directly after takeoff.
“It’s was an honor to host his Excellency and have him fly in one of our phenomenal war-fighting machines,” Sage said. “Qatar is not just a mission partner in the Middle East; they are a vital team member in stopping ISIS and maintaining peace within the region.”