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48th Fighter Wing supports Astral Knight 20

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Airmen and F-15s from the 48th Fighter Wing are participating in exercise Astral Knight 2020 Sep. 21-25, 2020, conducted in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Four F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron will join the premier U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa-sponsored exercise focused on multinational Integrated Air and Missile Defense assets performing regional ballistic missile defense against constructive threats over the Baltic region. The exercise will feature fighter and surface-based air defense integration against air and cruise missile threats. 

“Astral Knight allows us to demonstrate the reason F-15Cs are based in Europe – the ability to guarantee no notice air superiority anytime, anywhere, in support of our NATO partners,” said Lt. Col Anthony May, 493rd Fighter Squadron Commander. 

The long-planned exercise, involving Airmen and Soldiers from the United States working with service members from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Sweden, enhances joint-warfighter aptitude to adapt to new situations.  48th Fighter Wing units routinely deploy to various locations in Europe to train with partners and NATO allies in order to strengthen strategic relationships, improve interoperability, and sharpen combat readiness. 

“Our ability to quickly respond to global threats rests upon the fact that we are forward postured here in the UK," said Col. Jason Camilletti, 48th Fighter Wing commander. "Training with our joint and NATO partners enables our Liberty Wing Airmen to sharpen their combat capabilities and remain always ready to own the skies.”

AK20 will continue to improve U.S. and partner nation interoperability by allowing participants to exhibit their own unique contributions to regional and global stability.