Lakenheath squadron to deploy to CENTCOM region
By ADAM L. MATHIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 4, 2014
RAF MILDENHALL, England — The 492nd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath will deploy to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility this summer, according to a Tuesday email from a base spokesman.
CENTCOM’s area of responsibility covers 20 countries in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, including Afghanistan.
In February 75 airmen from the squadron conducted a live-weapons drop off Scotland’s coast to prepare for the deployment. A total of 48 laser-guided bombs were dropped off Cape Wrath, according to a release on the Lakenheath website.
Squadron pilots “would typically attend a temporary duty in the U.S. to meet their weapons employment requirement,” the release states. “Due to sequestration … (the training) was postponed and was more cost efficient to be held here in the United Kingdom.”
The squadron has deployed to the CENTCOM area before. Airmen from the squadron expended 915 bombs and 25,000 rounds of ammunition during a 2007 deployment to Afghanistan.
Airman 1st Class Keith Noble, an aircraft armament systems apprentice with the 492nd Fighter Squadron, assists Staff Sgt. Angelo Rodriguez, a weapons load crew team chief, in attaching a computer control group to a guided bomb unit at Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, England, on Feb. 7, 2014. The 492nd is to deploy to U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility this summer.
NIGEL SANDRIDGE/U.S. AIR FORCE