Hesterman returns to England to command 48th Fighter Wing
Stars and Stripes June 6, 2007
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — It was a special kind of homecoming for Brig. Gen. John W. Hesterman III and his wife, Jennifer, on Tuesday when the couple returned to the 48th Fighter Wing nine years after last serving here.
Hesterman assumed command of the largest wing in the United Kingdom and its 4,500 airmen from Brig. Gen. Robert P. Steel during a sun-splashed morning ceremony.
“We left here nine years ago when my wife was pregnant with our daughter, and it feels great to return,” Hesterman said as his wife and daughter, Sarah, stood by.
“There is no place in the Air Force that we would rather be right now.”
Hesterman served as commander of the 494th Fighter Squadron when he was last at RAF Lakenheath.
His wife, who recently retired from the Air Force as a colonel, served as the 48th Mission Support Squadron commander.
She last served as vice commander of the 316th Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Hesterman returned to RAF Lakenheath from Washington, D.C., where he served as the deputy director and legislative liaison to the office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
The 1983 graduate of the Air Force Academy also spent a recent summer in England when he participated in the 2003 summer program in history and politics at the University of Oxford. He also has studied at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Hesterman has accumulated more than 2,100 flight hours in five types of aircraft, including the F-16C and the F-15E.
Steel is slated to become the next commandant of the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.
He departs after two years commanding the 48th Fighter Wing.
During that time he oversaw the most sophisticated upgrade to the F-15E in the aircraft’s existence and the move of the 56th Rescue Squadron from Iceland to England.