On 10 December 1976 the first Baz (as they were already called) planes arrived in Israel. The fact that they landed on Friday evening, after the start of the Sabbath, caused a political crisis that toppled the first Rabin government. Israel discovered problems in the the engines for the F-15 and F- 16, and it provided American engineers with ideas on how to deal with the difficulties. In all, the Israelis made twenty-seven substantial recommendations for changes in the F-15.
By 2016, the IAF F-15s had shot down 40 planes, all of them Syrian. On June 27th 1979, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Moshe shot down a Syrian MiG-21 in Lebanese skies. This was the first time a MiG-21 had been shot down, anywhere in the world. On February 13th 1981 an IAF Baz used an air-to-air missile to shoot down a Syrian MiG-25. Again, this was a worldwide first.
On June 7th 1981, six F-15s escorted the eight F-16’s which attacked the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Operation ‘Opera’. The F-15’s mission was to provide the attackers with defensive cover against enemy planes.
The Lebanon war – Operation ‘Peace for the Galilee’ – reinforced the F-15’s reputation as an interceptor. Around 30 enemy MiG-21’s and MiG-23’s were shot down during the fighting. Brig. Gen. (Res.) Moshe: “we kept the Syrians from flying in Lebanon, and did it in the best possible fashion. Every flight of Egyptian planes that tried to cross the lines and attack our forces in Lebanon was shot down. Sometimes a single plane out of the flight got to go back and tell the others the story of what had happened. We had a field day, basically, shooting down practically everything that flew. The MiG-21 and MiG-23, which formed the backbone of the Syrian air force, were crushed. As far as our squadron was concerned, the war was more like a shooting range.”
Establishment of a second F-15 squadron was originally scheduled for June 6th 1982, but that turned out to be the day on which the war in Lebanon broke out. The planes were already on their way to Israel when fighting began, and they were immediately diverted to reinforce the existing squadron. When the war was over, the new squadron was established.
Credit to : Joseph Wouk