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    48th Fighter Wing Reactivates the 495th Fighter Squadron

    48th Fighter Wing Reactivates the 495th Fighter Squadron

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Cedrique Oldaker | U.S. Air Force Col. Sean Lowe, 48th Operations Group commander, passes the guidon of...... read more read more

    RAF LAKENHEATH, SFK, UNITED KINGDOM

    10.01.2021

    Story by Airman 1st Class Cedrique Oldaker 

    48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – The 48th Fighter Wing reactivated the 495th Fighter Squadron, the first F-35A Lightning II squadron in U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Oct. 1.

    Nicknamed the “Valkyries,” the 495th Fighter Squadron is scheduled to be fully mission capable in 2022 with a total of 27 aircraft and 60 personnel. The squadron previously had F-111 Aardvark aircraft from 1977 until its deactivation in 1991.

    “Today is an exciting day,” said Lt. Col. Ian D. McLaughlin, 495th Fighter Squadron commander. “There has been a great deal of work done to get us this far, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done prior to getting jets this winter. The 495th has a proud history and we’re excited to take the guidon forward to start building the foundation for first USAF F-35As stationed in Europe.”

    With the introduction of the F-35A, the 495th FS will step the 48th Fighter Wing and USAFE into the 5th generation of air power advancing multi-domain capabilities and air superiority.

    “The 495th Fighter Squadron represents a huge step in refining interoperability,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “We’ve already started exercising these capabilities with our partners who have F-35s in theater, so we’ll be ready to get after it when the new aircraft arrive in December.”

    Some members of the original 495th Fighter Squadron attended the activation ceremony, including retired U.S. Air Force Col. James “Rusty” Obrien, former 495th Fighter Squadron commander, who deactivated the squadron Dec. 13, 1991.

    “I’m ecstatic about this,” said Obrien. “I’m so pleased to represent the F-111 community that was here originally, and we are deeply appreciative of being able to witness and be a part of this today.”

    The Valkyries are the next step into the future for the 48th Fighter Wing as it works to maintain mission readiness and support allies and partners.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.01.2021
    Date Posted: 10.01.2021 10:55
    Story ID: 406495
    Location: RAF LAKENHEATH, SFK, GB 

    Web Views: 487
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN