Tag: RAF Lakenheath
48th Fighter Wing Night Ops
494th Fighter Squadron at TLP 22-3
By Tech. Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath and Tech. Sgt. Rachel Maxwell
SOUDA AIR BASE, Greece —
U.S. F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron, stationed out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, conducted an Agile Combat Employment movement to Souda AB Greece, within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, July 15, 2022.
“We wanted to operationalize the concept of agile forces conducting operations in multiple combatant commands from a single geographic location,” said Lt. Col. Curtis Culver, 494 FS commander. “We demonstrated that we can rapidly move aircraft between combatant commands, and be ready for contingency operations in either.”
In order to validate the concept, the 494 FS flew two of its Strike Eagles from Souda Air Base, Greece to the CENTCOM AOR, which landed, refueled and then returned the same day.
“It was a really cool experience overall,” said Capt. Sean Blye, the mission’s flight lead. “It was great to see all the different teams come together to make it seamless and show just how easy it is to send out airpower across multiple combatant commands in a single day.”
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.