By Master Sgt. Eric Burks, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — F-15E Strike Eagles and Airmen from the 492nd Fighter Squadron and supporting units across the 48th Fighter Wing have returned from a six-month deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
While deployed as the 492nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, the “Bolars” completed nearly 11,000 flying hours and over 2,000 missions while delivering nearly 4,500 precision-guided munitions in support of U.S. Central Command operations.
Lt. Col. Jeremy Renken, 492nd FS commander, said it was an incredible deployment on many levels and allowed the F-15E to showcase its full capabilities.
“The squadron had multiple instances of pilots conducting air-to-air intercepts while their weapons systems officers were conducting strikes — not sequentially, but literally at the same time,” he said. “It’s a testament to not only the aircraft and aircrews, but also to the ammo troops, weapons troops, specialists, back shops, and crew chiefs who sent aloft our Strike Eagles and weapons systems that worked flawlessly when there was no margin for error.”
While the squadron was deployed, it was named the winner of the David C. Schilling Award for accomplishments in 2016.
The award, sponsored by the Air Force Association, recognizes “the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight” in the atmosphere or space, by an Air Force military member, Air Force civilian, unit, or group of individuals.