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A few weeks back I stood under an unusually cool but very beautiful sunny April sky and listened as Ms. Julie Praiss, Vice President, Tactical Aircraft and Weapons Systems (Sustainment) at Boeing talked about the F-15E Strike Eagle model that the company had just donated to the Museum. Ms. Praiss talked about what the F-15 has meant to so many people, including pilots who fly them, people who maintain them and museums that display them. One thing in particular that she said stood out to me however: She said that “everyone has an Eagle story.”

Boeing Company, Museum of Aviation and RAFB officials cut a ribbon Monday for an F-15 model donated by the Boeing Company to the Museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

As the dedication ceremony ended and people headed their separate directions, I heard a distinct rumble in the distance. A short distance away an F-15 took to the skies over Robins Air Force Base, climbing vertically into the bright Georgia sky.  As I watched and listened to the Eagle climb, I thought about my own Eagle story. I grew up just northeast of Robins Air Force Base and was born in 1980, shortly after the Eagle first came here. For over 30 years now the F-15 has been a regular sight in the skies over and around Robins Air Force Base as they come here for depot maintenance.

RAFB workers pose with the F-15E they repaired following damage from a birdstrike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

The collective “Eagle story” of Robins Air Force Bases and the surrounding area is one of maintenance and support for the F-15 community. Mine is one of admiring the loud jets flying overhead daily when I was a child and growing up to appreciate the amount of sacrifice it takes to keep them in the sky. Everyone has an “Eagle story”, what is yours?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri-obaBZr9I]

– Arthur Sullivan, Assistant Curator