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France fills in F-15's role in Afghanistan after crash
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08:25, November 08, 2007

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 Japan grounds F-15 fighters after crash in U.S.
 U.S. Air Force grounds most F-15 fighters
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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.

Source: Xinhua



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