The 93rd Fighter Squadron F-16C Fighting Falcons, which are supersonic fighter aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force, participated in what was dubbed Dissimilar Air Combat Training with air force units and allies in Europe. The purpose of the training was to improve combat readiness, improve strategic partnerships and practice operating from a deployed location, according to a Wednesday US Air Force press release.
During the two week training program, the US fighter squadron trained with the United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE), a United States Air Force component command of both the US European Command and the US Africa Command, as well as with the RAF.
"We came to conduct training with our USAFE and Royal Air Force partners to help prepare our men and women for contingency operations," Lt. Col. Lindsey Lamb, 93rd Fighter Squadron operations director, said in the press release.
"This not only made us better by sharpening our sword and readying us for combat, but the training itself and the partnerships we developed with the host nation was wonderful," Lamb added.
The 93rd Fighter Squadron flew more than 136 sorties and accrued almost 180 flying hours during the training. A sortie is defined as the dispatch of a military unit. The sortie rate refers to the number of sorties that a given unit can support during a defined period of time.
"Almost every sortie we flew from here was with either our USAFE partners, the Bolars (492nd Fighter Squadron) or with the RAF," Capt. George Cook, 93rd Fighter Squadron F-16 fighter pilot, said in the press release. "It was a great learning opportunity and the overall training experience was fantastic."
The Bolars is part of the 492nd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenhealth and executes strategic attack and counter air missions to support the US Air Forces in Europe, the US European Command and NATO operations.
"Due to the US Air Force's forward presence in Europe, RAF Lakenheath and units conducting routine FTDs [Flying Training Deployments], like the 93rd Fighter Squadron, are able to work with partners and allies to develop and improve ready air forces capable of maintaining regional security," the US Air Force concluded in its press release.