Lakenheath Shuffle

Elements of the 493rd Fighter Squadron returned home to RAF Lakenheath, Britain, earlier this week from Siauliai, Lithuania, where they had spent the past three months carrying out NATO’s Baltic air policing mission. Four of the unit’s F-15Cs and roughly 130 of its airmen deployed to Siauliai at the end of September to take over the air policing mission starting Oct. 1 from the German Air Force. On Jan. 5 they then passed the torch to the Royal Danish Air Force. During their stay, two of the Lakenheath fighters were maintained in continuous readiness posture, ready to launch within less than 15 minutes of notice. Around the same time at they returned home, more than 250 of their Lakenheath colleagues, along with about 20 F-15Es from the base’s 492nd FS, began deploying to Afghanistan to support combat operations there. (Includes Siauliai report by Capt. Jay Talbert and Lakenheath report by A1C Torri K. Larson)