With U.S. F-15 fighters ordered to stand by in Afghanistan, French fighters are providing close-air support for U.S. troops and their allies there, the Military Times reported Wednesday.
Since a Nov. 2 crash of a F-15C Eagle in Missouri, the U.S. AirForce has restricted flights of F-15Es and F-15Cs to "mission-critical" sorties only.
In Afghanistan, where F-15Es take off from Bagram Air Base, the restriction means that F-15Es sit on combat alert status but are not assigned to pre-planned or on-call missions.
In the absence of F-15s, French Mirage 2000 and F-1 CR fighters were summoned for two air strikes and more shows of force above enemy positions in Afghanistan.
Japan has also grounded its F-15s following the U.S. crash.
There is so far no word from the U.S. Air Force on how long theF-15 flight restrictions will remain in place.
The U.S. F-15 fleet includes 522 F-15C Eagles and 217 F-15E Strike Eagles.