493rd FS Wins Raytheon Trophy

The 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, Britain, the recipient of the 2007 Raytheon Hughes Achievement Award (formerly the Hughes Trophy), is US Air Forces in Europe’s “premier engagement squadron,” said Brig. Gen. John Hesterman III, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing at Lakenheath. He added: “In short, you will find no finer expeditionary fighter squadron—anywhere. The Reapers are undoubtedly the finest air superiority squadron in the United States Air Force.” This marks the third time for the 493rd to garner the prestigious air superiority award. Their 1997 award came stemmed from their prowess during Operation Northern Watch missions over Iraq; in 1999, they helped establish air superiority over Kosovo, shooting down four MiGs during Operation Allied Force; and, in 2007, they “flawlessly executed” seven deployments and numerous exercises and inspections, according to a June 18 Lakenheath report. (Report by Capt. Kevin Bradley)