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Keeping RAF Lakenheath operational ready in the snow

An F-15 at RAF Lakenheath in the snow. Picture: MSgt Eric Burks

An F-15 at RAF Lakenheath in the snow. Picture: MSgt Eric Burks

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Heavy snowfall is causing widespread disruption across the region but personnel at RAF Lakenheath have been working hard to keep the base operational ready.

Crews from the 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit keeping RAF Lakenheath operational ready. Picture: MSgt Eric BurksCrews from the 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit keeping RAF Lakenheath operational ready. Picture: MSgt Eric Burks

Although training flights from the Suffolk base have been delayed for safety reasons, the arimen of the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing - which fly F-15Es and F-15Cs - are trained and ready to operate in a variety of conditions.

The 48th Civil Engineer Squadron use snow ploughs to keep the airfield clear and roads around the base are being salted to ensure safe driving conditions.

And airmen from the 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit are tasked with defrosting the fighter jets.

1st Lt Elias Small, chief of external communication at the base, said: “The 48th Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight is responsible for maintaining constant awareness of the weather conditions surrounding RAF Lakenheath and the airspace our aircraft use.

“Before takeoff, they advise our aircrews on what they can expect in the air, and they can provide real-time updates throughout their flights.”

The base currently has a red warning for road conditions around the base.

People are asked to exercise caution and take time while driving as roads may be icy and visibility could be limited.

Non-essential personnel have been told not to report to work and schools are closed.


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