report by: Harry Morrow
Wings Over Wayne Air Show 2019 was set to take place at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina on April 27-28, 2019. The event was free and gates opened at 9am both days. The opening ceremony was scheduled for 10:30am, and flying performances took place between 11am and 4:30pm. Spectators experienced the finest air power in the world as the US Air Force Thunderbirds take to the skies as this year’s main headliner. For the first time in WOW history, the new F-35A Demo Team and C-17 Team showcased their capabilities. Other favorites in the flying line up were the Army Black Daggers Jump Team, the Air Force Combined Arms Demo, Tora, Tora, Tora, Acemaker T-33, plus many more.
The brand new KC-46A Refueling aircraft was also been an exciting addition to the ground display, as this is set to be operational by the USAF this year. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is located in Goldsboro, N.C. The base is home to the 4th Fighter Wing of the Air Combat Command, one of the most storied in U.S. history, celebrating 75 years of service. Two Air Force Reserve units also reside here: the 916th Air Refueling Wing and the 414th Fighter Group. Seymour Johnson AFB’s mission is to deliver dominant Strike Eagle Airpower. The base is named in honor of U.S. Navy Lt. Seymour A. Johnson, a native of Goldsboro. Johnson, a test pilot, was killed in an aircraft crash near Norbeck, Md., March 5, 1941.
Spanning more than five decades and five wars, the 4th Fighter Wing is one of the most distinguished fighter units in the world. In addition, it has the distinction of being one of only two Air Force units that can trace its history to another country. The 4th Fighter Group (with squadrons now designated the 334th, 335th and 336th) was a record setter throughout the air war over Europe. The group was credited with the destruction of 1,016 enemy aircraft, more than any other 8th Air Force unit, and produced 38 aces. The unit was reactivated at Selfridge Field, Michigan, Sept. 9, 1946, as the United States began to rearm due to Cold War pressures. Following a period of training with F-80 Shooting Star aircraft, the 4th Fighter Group transitioned to F-86 Sabre jets in March 1949. The unit moved to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., Dec. 8, 1957, picking up a fourth tactical fighter squadron (the 333rd “Lancers” remained with the 4th Wing until reassignment to Pacific Air Forces Dec. 4, 1965) and was redesignated as the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing in July 1958.
The 4th Fighter Wing continued to sustain a highly visible mobility posture with development of the first operationally ready bare-base squadron in 1970, followed by multiple deployments to Southeast Asia beginning in April 1972. Operating from Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, as the first F-4 wing to augment elements of Pacific Air Forces. In 1988, the Fourth began transitioning to the F-15E Strike Eagle, the Air Force’s newest and most advanced tactical fighter aircraft. The first F-15E arrived Dec. 29, 1988, and the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron became the first operational F-15E squadron in the Air Force Oct. 1, 1989. The transition from the F-4E to the F-15E was completed July 1, 1991, making the Fourth the first operational F-15E wing in the Air Force.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out. The aircraft’s navigation system uses a laser gyro and a Global Positioning System to continuously monitor the aircraft’s position and provide information to the central computer and other systems, including a digital moving map in both cockpits.
The mission of the 916th Air Refueling Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, located at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. is to fly the KC-135R Stratotanker in air-to-air refueling missions. With this weapon system the unit is deployable on a global scale to support U.S. military and NATO allies in air-to-air refueling, cargo and passenger hauling and aeromedical evacuation. The unit is equipped with various maintenance and support functions to aid the flying mission. All squadrons and flights are deployable to support U.S. military interests at home and abroad.
Globalairpower would like to thank all the Organizers and volunteers of Wings Over Wayne Airhow 2019, without forgetting the Public Affairs Office for their outstanding job. After all, it was a very pleasant Airshow without weather problems; and some very nice new items.