Royal Air Force Lakenheath Opens First F-35A Lighting II Support Facility
The 495th Fighter Squadron held a ribbon chopping ceremony to mark the opening of the primary F-35A Lighting II assist facility in U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, March 17, 2022. The brand new facility boasts 16 upkeep bays masking 15,660 square-feet, whereas housing 240 assist tools property used for upkeep and inspection. Extra commodities embrace an exhaust air flow system, permitting for the operation of apparatus inside. In addition to an indoor heated wash-rack with drive-through capabilities. With new superior know-how and ample house for EMS operations, this state-of-the-art facility will assist bolster the Liberty Wing’s mission of offering worldwide responsive fight airpower and assist.
“This facility, having the capabilities that it does, permits us to maintain our tools purposeful. That is going to increase the EMS mission and can enable us to facilitate way more upkeep, at a quicker fee,” stated Tech. Sgt. Todd Spencer, forty eighth Gear Upkeep Squadron, F-35 assist part chief.
“As we transition into fifth-generation fighter assist, we’re cementing our place within the historical past books with the opening of this facility. It should function the AGE flight’s foremost working heart for the F-35 assist program whereas additionally offering development of the present F-15 legacy mission,” stated Tech. Sgt. Matthew Henry, Aerospace Floor Gear inspection non-commissioned officer in-charge.
The 495th Fighter Squadron (495th FS), nicknamed the Valkyries, is a part of the forty eighth Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. On 15 September 2020, it was introduced that the 495th Fighter Squadron can be reactivated as a part of the forty eighth Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath because the wing’s first F-35A unit. The primary plane are scheduled to reach in late 2021. Having been reactivated on 1 October 2021, it turned the primary abroad United States Air Drive squadron to function the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II on 15 December 2021. The unit had beforehand operated the Normal Dynamics F-111F Aardvark at RAF Lakenheath between 1977 and 1991. The 495th FS was reactivated on 1 October 2021. The brand new squadron will include 27 plane and roughly 60 personnel.
Royal Air Drive Lakenheath or RAF Lakenheath is a Royal Air Drive station close to the village of Lakenheath in Suffolk, England, UK, 4.7 miles (7.6 km) north-east of Mildenhall and eight.3 miles (13.4 km) west of Thetford. The bottom additionally sits near Brandon. Regardless of being an RAF station, Lakenheath presently solely hosts United States Air Drive items and personnel. The host wing is the forty eighth Fighter Wing (48 FW), also referred to as the Liberty Wing, assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA). In January 2015, the US Division of Protection introduced that from 2020, Lakenheath would turn out to be dwelling to 54 of the US Air Drive’s Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighters. The wing operates the F-15C/D Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle and F-35A Lightning II.
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