Air Force Unveils ‘Vegas Strong’ F-15 To Honor Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Gear
Nellis Air Force base remembers the victims of the Oct. 1st mass shooting in Las Vegas with an F-15. The plane will be unveiled at the Aviation Nation Air & Space Expo on Nov. 11th and 12th.
Photo via DoD

Just over a month since Las Vegas was rocked by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the Air Force — a service with deep roots in the area — has unveiled a unique tribute to honor the victims of the Oct. 1 attack: a custom painted F-15A Eagle.


Initially set aside to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Air Force in September, the fighter jet got a new mission, decided upon by the airmen at nearby Nellis Air Force Base shortly after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino last month, killing 58 people and wounding another 546.

The base unveiled the new paint job in a brief time-lapse video published on Nov. 2. The F-15A will appear at the 2017 Aviation Nation Airshow at Nellis on Nov. 11 and 12.

The aircraft appears in the video with a coat of the Air Force’s traditional grey tactical color with orange detailing on the undersides of its flaps and horizontal stabilizers. Along the left fuselage, “Vegas Strong” is spelled out in clear, piercing white beneath the left wing reads; “U.S. Air Force” runs along the right side. And a silhouette of the Las Vegas skyline and the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign are emblazoned across the vertical stabilizers; the traditional welcome language has been replaced with “We Are Vegas Strong.”

"It really makes us a lot prouder of the work we've been asked to do," Senior Airman Brittany Galloway told local ABC News affiliate KTNV-TV on Nov. 6. "We wanted to bring about something that would bring us together to the community.”

WATCH NEXT:

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

Read More Show Less

At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

Read More Show Less

In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less