F-35 fighter jets to arrive next month at RAF Lakenheath

The F-35s will be housed at RAF Lakenheath from November 2021 Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

The F-35s will be housed at RAF Lakenheath from next month - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

The first F-35A fighter jets are scheduled to arrive at RAF Lakenheath in mid December after the base was selected to host the first US squadrons in Europe.

RAF Lakenheath was chosen based on close ties with the Royal Air Force, existing infrastructure, and combined training opportunities.

The new F-35 squadron will consist of 27 aircraft and roughly 60 US personnel.

The UK is seen as a critical component in training and combat readiness for US Air Forces in Europe due to its excellent airspace and F-35 program partnership.

The jets arrive after the 48th Fighter Wing activated the US' 495th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed as the 'Valkyries', 30 years after it was made inactive.

Lt Col Ian D McLaughlin has assumed command as the first since 1991. He said: "The 495th has a proud history and we’re excited to take the guide on forward to start building the foundation for first USAF F-35As stationed in Europe.”

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