HomeAbout UsFact SheetsFactsheet Display Page

LakenHeath AFB Factsheets

2000 to present

After ALLIED FORCE, the 48th Fighter Wing was given a chance to reconstitute its forces for the first time in six years. However, during this rest period, the wing upgraded its F-15E fleet with new Block E-210 models. At the same time, the wing continued to prepare for future taskings, such as its Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) commitments.

For the first time since the Gulf War, the wing’s flying squadrons deployed to the desert of Southwest Asia. As part of AEFs 2 and 4 respectively, the 494th and 492d Fighter Squadrons served as Operation SOUTHERN WATCH’s precision guided munitions squadrons based at Ahmed Al Jabar Air Base, Kuwait. While deployed the units flew several missions and employed several munitions against Iraqi targets, racking up 690 sorties for 1,229 hours for the 494th in AEF 2 and 730 sorties for 1,173.9 hours for the 492d in AEF 4.

Again proving itself USAFE’s premier fighting wing, the 48th Fighter Wing served as the lead wing force provider for the 363d Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia during AEF 4. The 493d also deployed to PSAB and served as SOUTHERN WATCH’s air superiority squadron, flying 363 sorties for 2,011.4 hours.


The deployed environment changed drastically on the U.S.’ second “day which will live in infamy”: 11 September 2001.

The next test for the 48th Fighter Wing and the United States as a whole came on 11 September 2001, when terrorist forces attacked the World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon. In response, President George W. Bush initiated Operation ENDURING FREEDOM—air and ground strikes against terrorist organizations and training camps in Afghanistan.

Following a busy 2002 that saw us deploy over 2,300 people and 134 aircraft in support of AEF and OEF, we launched into 2003 by deploying over 500 Airmen from every specialty to every country in CENTCOM's Area of Responsibility

As part of this operation, the 492d and 493d Fighter Squadrons deployed to support the humanitarian airlift operations from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The F-15C and F-15E squadrons ensured air superiority and supremacy for C-17 aircraft delivering humanitarian daily rations to Afghan refugees in Afghanistan.

As the Global War on Terror continued, the 48th Fighter Wing was ready again to provide combat air power in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Wing deployed again in January 2005 in support of AEF 4 with over 1,100 Liberty warriors supporting operations globally. And today, at his very moment, more than 600 personnel are deployed in AEF 7. We accept and relish these challenges because they give our wing a chance to do what we train to do; provide leading edge combat support and combat support services.

As the lead wing for AEF 4 and 7, the 48th Fighter Wing continues to be ready at every turn. As the past has proven, the future is always uncertain. But the 48th Fighter Wing will continue to achieve excellence in all its endeavors.