After an 8-year dry spell forced by military operations tempo and contingency requirements, the Air Force’s William Tell air-to-air competition “takes flight” at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., according to a press release.

William Tell 2004 will test aircrew performance in the air dominance and air sovereignty missions, while evaluating cold/live-fire weapons employment and the tactics executed, the release states. The meet also includes weapons loading, maintenance and weapons’ director competitions.

The event, from Nov. 8 to Nov. 19, will showcase air-to-air capabilities of F-15C units from four major commands and the Air National Guard.

From Pacific Air Forces, the 19th Fighter Squadron from the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, will be among the participants, as will the 493rd Fighter Squadron from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England, will be among the participants.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of William Tell competition. It has been a biennial competition to encourage the most challenging air-to-air scenarios.

Although operations tempo remains high with Air Force members supporting the global war on terror, resuming the event will better prepare airmen for combat operations, competition Director Lt. Col. Edward Nagler said in a release.Airmen from the 64th Aggressor Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., will serve as “adversaries” for the first time. Aircraft also will be equipped with short-range, medium-range and long-range weapons and crews will be evaluated on their response to the threats in day and night scenarios.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now