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MISSION READY
INSIDE THE BEST FIGHTER SQUADRON OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE

written by Patrick “Red” van Dam

Mission Ready is a visual narrative about a world that’s not accessible to most of us. Until now. Documentary photographer and creative director Patrick van Dam gives us a realistic and uncensored insight into the “Best Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Air Force”. Through compelling images, he offers an insider perspective of the legendary 493rd Fighter Squadron’s daily operations. This is not Top Gun. This is better. This is real.

From 2016 to 2021, Van Dam was granted access to several restricted military airbases and experienced first-hand what it takes to be a fighter pilot during a training mission in an F-15 Eagle. His contemporary photography is never shy of demystifying a sometimes romanticized world, yet always with an aesthetic point of view.

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493rd Fighter Squadron Heritage Jet

The new 493rd Fighter Squadron Heritage Jet. In honor of the legacy of Aerial Dominance . Boasting an undefeated 45 years in the European Theatre. “Trust us, you’re dead”