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New facilities planned for F-35's at RAF Lakenheath (Read 1111 times)
 
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New facilities planned for F-35's at RAF Lakenheath
Jan 9th, 2017 at 7:57pm
 
Quote:
New facilities planned for F-35s at RAF Lakenheath

By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: January 9, 2017

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Work on remodelling a central compound is expected to begin soon at RAF Lakenheath for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters slated to begin arriving in 2021.

The U.S. Air Force in January 2015 announced RAF Lakenheath as its first base for the F-35 in Europe. The two squadrons of 54 F-35s will eventually replace two squadrons of F-15E Strike Eagles and a single unit of F-15Cs currently based there.

“We’re on track to bed down the F-35 here in the United Kingdom,” Col. Evan L. Pettus, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath told Stars and Stripes Monday. “RAF Lakenheath offers a combination of several advantages: We have close partnerships with the United Kingdom who will also be operating the F-35, we have fighter jet experience, we have the room and a good training space.”

While there are no current plans to alter the airfield, existing buildings are scheduled for remodeling into a squadron operations and maintenance facility and an F-35 training simulator. Some of the ramps will be extended and support facilities are receiving upgrades.

The new facilities are designed not only for the incoming F-35s but also the 1,200 airmen who will accompany them.

Missions will continue as normal even after construction crews break ground, Pettus said.

“Current operations continue unabated,” he said. “We are capable as construction begins of manipulating our flow on the airfield so we’ll be able to train and maintain our readiness without interruption.”
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