Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA4523 F-15E Strike Eagle 87-0173, 389th FS, Mountain Home AFB, 2018. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
In 1967 the U.S. became aware of the Soviet MiG-25 Foxbat. This made it necessary to develop a new aircraft to counter the MiG-25. The USAF rejected the USN F-14 Tomcat and issued its own requirements. The solution came in the form of the McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle. The F-15A made its inaugural flight in July 1972 and in January 1976 the first Eagle entered service. The “E” entered service in 1989. The F-15 was the first dedicated USAF air superiority fighter since the F-86 Sabre.
The 389th Squadron (single engine) flew combat missions in WWII and was deactivated shortly thereafter. The squadron was activated and deactivated with designation changes over the years with the final activation taking place in 1992. The 389th FS “Thunderbolts” or T-Bolts have been stationed at Mountain Home AFB since March 1992. In 2007 the 389th converted from the F-16 to the F-15E Strike Eagle. F-15E 87-0173 msn 1038/E013 was delivered in 1987 and presently assigned to the 389th FS where in 2018 it received a special paint scheme celebrating the unit’s 75th anniversary.