Lakenheath squadron wins aviation award

First Lieutenants Drew Lyons, 492nd Fighter Squadron, F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, and Paul Reasner,weapon systems officer, make final checks on their aircraft 
USAF  photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew
First Lieutenants Drew Lyons, 492nd Fighter Squadron, F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, and Paul Reasner,weapon systems officer, make final checks on their aircraft USAF photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew

RAF Lakenheath’s 492nd Fighter Squadron has won an award for ‘the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight’,

It has been named the winner of the David C Schilling Award, which can go to a group or individual and previous winners include the test pilot Major Charles ‘Chuck’ Yaeger who was the first person confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight.

The award recognises the 48th Fighter Wing squadron’s work in 2016, when it completed 3,696 sorties in its F-15s, totaling more than 6,043 flying hours, and participated in several multi-nation exercises including Noble Arrow 16 in the United Kingdom, INIOHOIS 16 in Greece, with a no-notice contingency deployment to Turkey.

Lt Col Matthew Hund, 48th Maintenance Group deputy commander, who commanded the 492nd at that time said: “The 492nd Fighter Squadron’s accomplishments recognized with this award were simply remarkable, spanning several combatant commands and diverse mission sets,

“This squadron has a professional hunger and focus that I have never seen before, and they are always ready to deliver combat air power,

“It was an honour to serve alongside this dedicated team of professionals and watch them execute the mission, and they are at it again.”

The award is named after David Carl Schilling who was a USAF World War Two fighter ace and later became a leading advocate of long-range jet fighter operations. He died in a car accident between RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall in 1956, at the age of 37.