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Battle for the skies: USAF tests F-22, F-35 and F-15 for air superiority

The “William Tell” air-to-air competition will be held by the United States Air Force in September. The competition will assess aircrew performance in air dominance, weapons use, tactics, as well as weapons handling, maintenance, and loading skills. It will take place at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia, after being absent for 19 years. General Mark Kelly expressed his enthusiasm for the competition’s return, which brings together the best of the United States Air Force in simulated air combat scenarios.

The competition, which began in 1954 as an air-to-air rocketry match, has included various aircraft designed to protect North America since 1961. Throughout its history, the competition has pitted fighters such as the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, and F-101 Voodoo against each other. Canada was the first foreign country to participate in 1965, racing its CF-101 Voodoo. The F-22, F-35, and F-15 Eagle units will represent various wings of Air Combat Command, the Pacific Air Force, and the Air National Guard.

With the resumption of the William Tell competition, the Air Force aims to encourage the exchange of tactics and better prepare airmen for combat operations against potential adversaries. Major Kyle Brown, the competition director, emphasized that air superiority is an ongoing struggle, and William Tell 2023 seeks to resurrect the competition’s heritage and face off against its champions.

It has not yet been confirmed if the competition will continue as a biennial event, but this year it aims to highlight that US Air Force pilots can handle the most challenging air-to-air scenarios globally. General Kelly reiterated the United States’ commitment to air dominance and the pursuit of innovation and excellence as he participated in the return of the William Tell competition, supporting the Joint Forces and multinational partners.

The William Tell 2023 competition represents a challenge for United States Air Force pilots to showcase their skills and face the toughest challenges in the field of air superiority. This event will allow crews to test their knowledge and tactics in a competitive and collaborative environment.

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