Homestead F-16 to deploy to RAF Lakenheath
Twelve F-16’s from Homestead Air Reserve Base arrived at RAF Lakenheath in the evening of 5 May 2019. The aircraft from the US Air Force Reserve Command 482nd Fighter Wing, 93rd Fighter Squadron “Makos”, arrived from Atlantic City in two groups of six aircraft.
The unit is expected to deploy to Europe for a couple of weeks. The deployment starts at Lakenheath and the aircraft will move in to Europe from May 20th but they are set to return to Lakenheath in time to participate in the D-Day celebrations in early June. As it was one of the units dropping Para troops of the 101st Airborne Division in Normandy on D-Day
The 93rd Fighter Squadron showed some incredible flying in the local pattern will be deployed at RAF Lakenheath over the last two weeks.
93rd Fighter Squadron.
The 93rd Fighter Squadron the “Makos” operates out of Homestead Air Reserve Station, located near the southern end of the Florida peninsula, about 25 miles south of Miami. The unit flies and maintains the F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft. The F-16s can be identified by the letters “FM” (“Florida Makos”) and the mako shark displayed proudly on the tail.
Activated in June 1943 under I Troop Carrier Command and equipped with Douglas C-47 Skytrains. Trained in various parts of the eastern United States until the end of 1943. Deployed to England and assigned to IX Troop Carrier Command. Began operations by dropping Para troops of the 101st Airborne Division in Normandy on D-Day 6 June 1944 and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day.
Inactivated during the post-war 1950s, the 93rd Fighter Squadron was reactivated in October 1978 at then Homestead Air Force Base, flying F-4C Phantom II fighter aircraft. The “Makos” were the first unit in the Air Force Reserve to fly the Phantom, which was, at that time, the predominant fighter in use by the Air Force.
In November of 1989 the 93rd Fighter Squadron began conversion from the F-4D to the F-16A/B. Homestead AFB is only 96 miles away from Cuba, making it a strategic location. On February 1st, 1992 the squadron changed designation from the 93rd Tactical Fighter Squadron to the 93rd Fighter Squadron.
In August 1992, the “Makos” weathered the devastation of most of the air base by Hurricane Andrew and now operates from a restored Homestead Air Reserve Station.
Between 1999 and 2001, the 93rd Fighter Squadron F-16Cs received the Situational Awareness Data Lind (SADL), LITENING II Targeting Pod and converted to the Block 30 F-16C.