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The Mighty Panthers bid farewell to PSAB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Giovanni Sims
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

More than 300 Airmen with the 494th Fighter Squadron, also known as the Mighty Black Panthers, completed their deployment to PSAB in March 2020.

The Might Black Panthers is an F-15E Strike Eagle squadron that provides combat air power by providing air interdiction and close-air support in support operations throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Under the agile combat employment model designed to enable rapid intra-theater movement to project combat power, the squadron was able to continue supporting the AFCENT mission of delivering decisive air power to maintain security and stability in the region.

 “It’s been an honor to establish and project combat airpower from Prince Sultan Air Base for the first time in 16 years”, said Lt. Col, Jaina Donberg, 494th EFS commander. “We are proud to be a part of such a galvanized team of men and women building and providing regional and operational depth. We are also honored to have had the opportunity to integrate, train, and fly with our Royal Saudi Air Force partners while at Prince Sultan Air Base.”

As the first wave of fighter jets to come to PSAB in almost two decades, the Mighty Black Panthers begin training and flying missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, training missions with their RSAF counterparts and training at the RSAF weapons instructor course.

During their time at PSAB, the Panthers have completed over 500 sorties with more than 4,400 hours, expended more than 46 munitions and have flown more than 500 training hours with RSAF counterparts. 

Airmen from the 494th Fighter Squadron were the spark that rekindled the RSAF coalition partnership. Now it is the 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s turn to continue what the Mighty Black Panthers started.