Military Aviation

Raytheon Trophy awarded to Lakenheath F-15 Eagles for the fourth time in a row

“They should just call it the Liberty Trophy from here on out,” 48th Fighter Wing Commander Col. William Marshall.

The 493rd Fighter Squadron was awarded the 2019 Raytheon Trophy for the US Air Force’s top air superiority squadron, the fourth win in a row for the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England.

According to Air Force Magazine, the squadron received the award based on its operations in 2019, which included a short-notice rapid deployment for combat operations in the Middle East and multiple high-profile training exercises.

“They should just call it the Liberty Trophy from here on out,” 48th Fighter Wing Commander Col. William Marshall said in announcing the win. “Great work by the team last year—good to see it recognized.”

In early 2019, to fill the air superiority role vacated by F-22s that returned home in an effort to increase the Raptor fleet’s readiness, the unit’s F-15Cs deployed with two weeks notice to the Middle East for Operation Inherent Resolve.

The deployment was so abrupt the squadron conducted a planned change of command ceremony during a combat mission, as opposed to in a hangar at the home base.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15C Eagle 144th Fighter Wing, 194th Fighter Squadron, CA/80-004 – California Air National Guard – Fresno ANG Base, CA – 2016

More recently, the wing is flying decreased flying hours amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

Last year, the 493rd’s sister squadron, the 494th Fighter Squadron, received the Raytheon trophy. 

The F-15C is a twin-engine, high-performance, all-weather air superiority fighter known for its incredible acceleration and maneuverability. With a top speed in excess of Mach 2.5 (more than 1,600 mph or 2575 kph), it was the first US fighter with enough thrust to accelerate vertically. The F-15 carries a large complement of missiles — including AIM-9 Sidewinders, AIM-7 Sparrows and AIM-120 AMRAAMs.

US F-15Cs participated in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 where they downed 32 of 36 USAF air-to-air victories. F-15Cs also served in Bosnia in 1994 and downed Serbian MiG-29 fighters in Operation Allied Force in 1999. They enforced no-fly zones over Iraq in the 1990s. 

This model is available to order from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

The story of the Iraqi MiG-23 that crashed while trying to escape from two AIM-54 Phoenix missiles fired by US Navy F-14 Tomcats

The F-14 Tomcat Following Grumman's tradition of naming its aircraft after cats, the new F-14… Read More

11 hours ago

Did you know the Tu-95V that released the Tsar Bomba it dropped 621 ft when it was hit by the shock wave of the bomb?

The Tu-95V: a special Bear to drop the Tsar Bomba The Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber… Read More

11 hours ago

Two Blackjacks did a flying display for US observers having the first close look at the Tu-160. Both flew with 3 engines because 1 engine failed on each aircraft.

The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic… Read More

1 day ago

US Navy Operations Specialist tells why an F-16 armed for the SEAD mission would win against an S-400 SAM most of the time

The SA-21 Growler The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) is a mobile, surface-to-air… Read More

2 days ago

The story of when two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport (They cooked the runway when they took off)

When two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport Taken on Oct. 18,… Read More

2 days ago