USA VT ANG F 35 17 5265 KBTV 22May20 Dave OBrien file info 640Heads up .... RAF Lakenheath!

RAF Lakenheath first had a peak in traffic and then it became very quiet. But things could change very soon!

Scramble Magazine has learned that multiple 5th Generation Lightning II deployments could be soon arriving at RAF Lakenheath (UK). This, either for transiting or staying for multiple weeks at the base in Suffolk. Strong rumours say that F-35A Lightning IIs from the Vermont Air National Guard will visit Lakenheath within a week. Also US Marine Corps F-35Bs will be flown to the UK before they will be dispatched to the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. Although the last USMC Lightning deployment started at RAF Marham, Lakenheath could be the host as well.

As Lakenheath's Liberty Wing moved to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Gunfighters were transiting Lakenheath and headed home for Idaho.

USA USAF MO F 15E Les Lockheed 480During the beginning of April 2021, the Lakenheath based 494th Fighter Squadron Panthers deployed eighteen F-15E Strike Eagles to Muwaffaq Salti/Al Azraq Air Base (Jordan). This to relieve Mountain Home's 391st Fighter Squadron Bold Tigers, which had been deployed to Jordan since the beginning of October 2020. The Bold Tigers, part of the 366th Fighter Wing Gunfighters, returned home on 20 April 2021.

Also, some twenty F-15E Strike Eagles and F-15C/D Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron respectively the 492nd Fighter Squadron, both part of Lakenheath's 48th Liberty Fighter Wing, flew to Poland to participate in an Agile Combat Employment (ACE) exercise during Aviation Detachment Rotation 21.2.

USA USAF LN F 15E 480The aircraft from Lakenheath were joined in Poland by more than a dozen F-16C/D Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, part of the 52nd Fighter Wing, based at Spangdahlem Air Base (Germany), and multiple C-130J Super Hercules transporters assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, part of the 86th Airlift Wing, based at Ramstein Air Base (Germany). The 48th FW and 52nd FW will operate out of the 32nd Tactical AB, Łask, and the 31st Tactical AB, Krzesiny (both in Poland). The 86th AW will operate out of Chièvres Air Base (Belgium), to disperse, organize and generate airlift for the ACE event.

The following LN coded F-15s were seen leaving Lakenheath for Poland:

493rd FS F-15C: 84-0019, 86-0154, 86-0159, 86-0163, 86-0164, 86-0171, 86-0172, 86-0175, 86-0178 and F-15D 84-0044
492nd FS F-15E: 91-0312, 91-0320, 91-0602, 91-0604, 97-0221, 98-0133, 00-3001, 00-3002, 01-2000 and 01-2004

Transiting Lakenheath on their way to Mountain Home AFB (ID) were the following MO coded F-15s:

391st FS F-15E: 90-0233, 90-0236, 90-0237, 90-0238, 90-0240, 90-0241, 90-0242, 90-0243, 90-0246, 90-0248, 90-0249, 90-0253, 90-0255, 90-0259, 91-0300, 91-0333, 91-0600 and 92-0366

If more information becomes available we will keep you posted.

Photos: Dave O'Brien (Scramble Archive), USAF and Les Lockheed

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