US National Guard Mulled Using F-15 ‘to Intimidate Civilians’ Amid COVID Lockdown, Report Says

US

Jonathan Shiroma, a spokesman for California National Guard chief David Baldwin, insisted, however, that “no F-15s were contemplated” in response to a possible civil unrest in the state last year, and that only C-130J and HC-130J military transport jets were under consideration.

In March 2020, an air branch of the California National Guard received an order to put an F-15C fighter jet on alert status for “a possible domestic mission”, the Los Angeles Times has cited several unnamed National Guard sources as saying.

The sources claimed that the order came as National Guard members were awaiting instructions from the Sacramento headquarters to tackle possible civil unrest that might arise from the outbreak of COVID-19.

The sources also argued that even though the order did not clarify the F-15C’s mission, National Guard forces understood the directive could have meant the supersonic combat plane “could be deployed to terrify and disperse protesters by flying low over them at window-rattling speeds, with its afterburners streaming columns of flames”.

The insiders added that using the F-15C to frighten potential protesters in California “would have been an inappropriate use of the military against US civilians”.

They argued that the fighter jet was also placed on an alert status amid California protests over the 24 May 2020 murder of African-American man George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota and to any possible civil…

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