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News > 493rd FS awarded Raytheon Trophy
 
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493rd Grim Reapers
The 493rd Fighter Squadron was recently awarded the Raytheon Trophy for being the best air superiority squadron in the Air Force. Units are graded on air defense and air superiority mission performance, operational mission performance, organizational readiness inspection results, training exercise participation, unit achievements and awards, individual achievements and awards, and unit incentive programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John Easterling)
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493rd FS awarded Raytheon Trophy

Posted 6/19/2008   Updated 6/19/2008 Email story   Print story

    


by Capt. Kevin Bradley
493rd Fighter Squadron


6/19/2008 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The 493rd Fighter Squadron was recently selected as the Raytheon Trophy winners.

"In 2007, the 493rd Fighter Squadron established itself as USAFE's premier engagement squadron," said Brig. Gen. John W. Hesterman III, 48th Fighter Wing commander. "In short, you will find no finer expeditionary fighter squadron - anywhere. The Reapers are undoubtedly the finest air superiority squadron in the United States Air Force!"

Started by the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1953, and now sponsored by the Raytheon Systems Corporation, the Raytheon Trophy is given to the best air superiority squadron in the Air Force. Units are graded on air defense and air superiority mission performance, operational mission performance, organizational readiness inspection results, training exercise participation, unit achievements and awards, individual achievements and awards and unit incentive programs.

This is the third time the 493rd FS has won the award. The Grim Reapers were first recognized in 1997 for their combat missions flown enforcing the "no-fly" zone over northern Iraq and completing eight deployments to contingencies and exercises around the world. In 1999, the Reapers were again recognized as the top air superiority squadron after establishing air supremacy over Kosovo, shooting down four MiG-29s in the first 72 hours of Operation Allied Force, and flying more than 10,000 hours during the year.

In 2007, the 493rd FS flawlessly executed seven deployments, eleven separate exercise taskings, a unit compliance inspection, and two NATO and European Command tasked contingency operations while simultaneously preparing for a NATO operational evaluation.

"As USAFE's single air superiority squadron, their challenges are unmatched by any other unit in the world," said Maj. Gen. James Hunt, USAFE Air and Space Operations director. "Quite simply, they alone support unique requirements across the complex European theater of operations as NATO's only U.S. air-to-air ambassadors. They are truly the 'Tip of the Sword' and most deserving of this year's award."



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