Spang Squadron Furls Flag

The Air Force officially inactivated the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, on June 18, bringing an end to the squadron’s 71 year history, states an Air Force release. “The 81st Fighter Squadron piloted many of the most iconic and legendary aircraft the world has ever seen… whatever mission was demanded, the squadron delivered without question and without fail,” said Col. David Lyons, 52nd Operations Group commander, at the ceremony. The 81st’s A-10s were the last forward deployed Warthogs under the umbrella of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. Spangdahlem’s 52nd Fighter Wing now only employs the F-16, a multi role aircraft, which is in line with the changing demands on the wing and USAF forces in Europe and Africa today. Lt. Col. Clint Eichelberger, the 81st FS commander, said that at one time there were six squadrons of A-10s in Europe with over 140 aircraft at the peak of the Cold War. Airmen should look at the occasion of the inactivation as a moment to celebrate the 81st FS’ accomplishments through the decades. “Even though we are closing the doors on our building, the people who worked within the squadron continue to train to increase the combat capability of our Air Force,” Eichelberger said.