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The F/A-18 Super Hornet that pulled off the US's first air-to-air kill in 18 years still has the war paint to prove it
When Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael "Mob" Tremel took on an air-support mission on June 18, 2017, he didn't realize that he'd end up shooting down a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 fighter-bomber in the U.S. military's first air-to-air kill since 1999.
"The whole mission out there that day was to go defeat ISIS and annihilate ISIS," Tremel recalled of the incident during a September 2017 Tailhook Association symposium. "If at any point in time that day it had escalated, that would have been fine by us."
Tremel may carry the memory of that day with him everywhere, and now so will his aircraft: According to recent Pentagon photos, the F/A-18E Super Hornet from VFA-87 that Tremel flew into battle clearly carries a fresh victory marking — a scalp for one of the squadron's "Golden Warriors."
On June 18, F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael “Mob” Tremel shot down a Sukhoi Su-22 during a close-air support mission in the skies above Syria, the first U.S. air-to-air kill since 1999. And although Tremel delivered a riveting first-person account of the shoot down during a Sept. 10 symposium, you can now witness the dogfight with your own eyes.
A spokesman for the military coalition against ISIS hinted today that the U.S. is still in touch with Russian forces operating in the same space, days after Russia cut off those communications amid rising tensions.