Spangdahlem Activates New Fighter Unit

: The 480th Fighter Squadron is the newest combat unit at Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The new squadron consolidates the base’s F-16 operations formerly conducted by the 22nd and 23rd Fighter Squadrons, both of which were inactivated at the same Aug. 13 ceremony that formally restored the 480th FS. These changes come as a result of USAF’s legacy fighter drawdown. Spangdahlem shed 21 F-16 Block 50 aircraft, which were reassigned to the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth. The 480th, part of Spangdahlem’s 52nd Fighter Wing, is now the sole F-16 squadron in Europe dedicated to the suppression of enemy air defense mission. The 480th returns to operations after 16 years of dormancy, and has historical significance because it previously flew the dangerous “Wild Weasel” SEAD missions in the Vietnam War. (Spangdahlem report by 1st Lt. Kathleen Polesnak)