480th Deployment

An F-16 takes off from Spangdahlem

Airmen from Spangdahlem Air Base’s 480th Fighter Squadron deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in support of contingency operations April 7, 2013.

The 480th FS is deploying for approximately six months to provide air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack capabilities.

“I’m looking forward to leading the squadron down-rage, supporting the guys who are on the ground and doing the job that we’re tasked to do … I think everybody is really looking forward to do the job we’ve been training so hard for,” said Austin native Lt. Col. Cameron Caroom, 480th FS commander.

Maintainers prepares F-16s for flight

The 480th has prepared for more than four months for this deployment through multiple exercises with the most recent being Red Flag 2013, an aerial combat training exercise held in Las Vegas.

“It’s game time,” Caroom said. “Everything up to this point has been practiced and rehearsed. We’ve got six months of game to play and we’re ready to go.”

In addition to participating in exercises, the squadron also catered their home-base training to prepare for Afghanistan’s environment.

The 480th communicated with the fighter squadron they replaced in Afghanistan to prepare and plan for what was ahead. They went over such things as successful tactics, techniques and procedures best used to accomplish the mission.

Pilots prepare their gear for flight

On this deployment, 480th maintainers, pilots and support crews will work around the clock to ensure combat air power is provided over head so that service members on the ground are supported.

“That’s what the mission is and what everyone is looking forward to doing,” Caroom said.

Editor’s note: Click here to view more photos on Flickr.

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