JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) --
Four Air Force fighter jets practiced for the inauguration flyover at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2017.
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, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017.
The aircraft performing the flyover are the F-15 Strike Eagle from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, the F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw AFB, South Carolina, the F-22 Raptor from JB Langley-Eustis, and the F-35 Lightning II from Eglin AFB, Florida.
“Our mixed formation of fourth generation fighters along with our fifth generation fighters truly represents how the [Air Force] fights,” said Lt. Col. John Echols, the 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 fourth 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 JB Langley-Eustis] 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.”