HomeNewsArticle Display

Astral Knight 21: Liberty Wing trains with European Allies

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian Jankowski, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, marshals an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th AMXS and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian Jankowski, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, marshals an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th AMXS and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force and Hellenic Air Force personnel join together at the conclusion of exercise Astral Knight, May 21, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force and Hellenic Air Force personnel join together at the conclusion of exercise Astral Knight, May 21, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron park after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron park after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. During exercises like Astral Knight, U.S. forces sharpen their ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations enabled by strong regional partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. During exercises like Astral Knight, U.S. forces sharpen their ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations enabled by strong regional partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron parks after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 21, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron parks after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 21, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Hunter Andrus, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Tech. Sgt . Shawn Davis, 748th AMXS engines NCO in-charge, replaces an engine cable on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Hunter Andrus, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Tech. Sgt . Shawn Davis, 748th AMXS engines NCO in-charge, replaces an engine cable on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ted Grigsby, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels support NCO in-charge, refuels an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ted Grigsby, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels support NCO in-charge, refuels an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron are parked on the flightline during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 21, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron are parked on the flightline during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 21, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jemara McCoy, 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, disarms munitions on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 18

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jemara McCoy, 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, disarms munitions on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Robert Sawyer (second from left) and Aaron Ruffo (third from left), 493rd Fighter Squadron intel analysts, debrief to pilots assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational, integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted in the Adriatic Region of Europe designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 18

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Robert Sawyer (second from left) and Aaron Ruffo (third from left), 493rd Fighter Squadron intel analysts, debrief to pilots assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational, integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted in the Adriatic Region of Europe designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Thomas Sullivan, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, performs post flight recovery duties on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th AMXS and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 18

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Thomas Sullivan, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, performs post flight recovery duties on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th AMXS and other supporting units to participate in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Amy Phanthavong, 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, disarms munitions on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational, integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted in the Adriatic Region of Europe designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 18

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Amy Phanthavong, 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, disarms munitions on an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. Astral Knight is a multinational, integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted in the Adriatic Region of Europe designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Two U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron taxi after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 18

Two U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron taxi after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Grimm, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance craftsman, tops off the oil on a refueling truck during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 15 of 18

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Grimm, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance craftsman, tops off the oil on a refueling truck during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 20, 2021. During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Local media films a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 19, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 16 of 18

Local media films a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 19, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength and cohesion of these alliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15D Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron prepares to taxi prior to take-off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 19, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 17 of 18

A U.S. Air Force F-15D Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron prepares to taxi prior to take-off during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 19, 2021. The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron taxis after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. U.S. forces routinely train with allied nations to ensure the ready capability, strength and commitment of those partnerships to deter and defend against emerging adversaries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 18 of 18

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493th Fighter Squadron taxis after a sortie during exercise Astral Knight 21 at Larissa Air Base, Greece, May 17, 2021. U.S. forces routinely train with allied nations to ensure the ready capability, strength and commitment of those partnerships to deter and defend against emerging adversaries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

LARISSA AIR BASE, Greece --

The 48th Fighter Wing trained and integrated with allied NATO nations during Astral Knight 21, May 17 - 21, 2021, strengthening partnerships and rapid deployment capabilities.

Astral Knight is a multinational, integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted in the Adriatic Region of Europe designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and its NATO allies in the region.

Operating from Larissa Air Base, Greece, the Liberty Wing worked side by side with Hellenic Air Force, their host during the exercise.

“Forward deploying our forces to places like Greece gives us the opportunity to meet face to face with our partners and allies, which really maximizes the training that we get and increases our lethality,” said Lt. Col. Todd Pearson, 493rd Fighter Squadron commander. “Working with the HAF has been fantastic. They are very gracious hosts and a very capable, credible ally. We have capitalized on the training opportunities with them, and we have both come out of this better.”

The 48th FW also trained with military forces from Albania, Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia as well as U.S. units from around European Command enhancing the readiness, strength, and cohesion of these alliances.

The 48th FW deployed 12 F-15C/D Eagles and more than 250 Airmen from the 493rd FS, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and other supporting units to participate in the exercise.

From pilots to crew chiefs and intel analysts to fuels technicians, each Airman enables the mission during a high-paced exercise like Astral Knight, be it from the sky or on the ground.

“Overall on this trip, the Airmen have absolutely knocked it out of the park,” said Pearson. “We’ve had an extremely high sortie generation rate, which is entirely a team effort. From the maintainers to the pilots and to the support, they’ve just absolutely crushed it.”

During Astral Knight 21, the Liberty Wing sharpened its ability to deploy capable, credible forces to operate from strategic locations, which is enabled by strong regional partnerships critical for a rapid united response to adversaries around the world. 

“The 48th FW lives, trains, and fights with our joint, allied, and partner nation brothers and sisters,” said Col. Jason A. Camilletti, 48th FW commander. “We fly wingtip to wingtip with them as we face ever-evolving strategic challenges. We will continue to participate in multinational exercises like this to enhance our warfighting readiness and our collective defense to ensure the Liberty Wing is always ready to own the skies.”