More F-35 squadrons to be stationed in Suffolk to boost US presence

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs from RAF Lakenheath perform a pass

Two squadrons will be stationed at RAF Lakenheath. Pictured: An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron - Credit: 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Two new F-35 squadrons are being stationed at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk as part of America's plan to boost European security.

This was announced by the President of the United States, Joe Biden, on June 29 at the NATO summit in Madrid.

It is among new long-term commitments by the US brought about by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. 

The US Department of Defense said: "In the United Kingdom, we are increasing our Fifth Generation Fighter presence and ability to support Allies across Europe by forward-stationing two squadrons of F-35s at RAF Lakenheath."

The F-35A Lightning II is a US Air Force single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth aircraft intended for strike missions.

It provides global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats with a combination of low observability and multi-mission capability.

The fighter jets and their personnel will join those that arrived at the base in December 2021 and April 2022. RAF Lakenheath was the first European airbase in the US Air Force to receive the newest fifth-generation aircraft.

In March of this year, RAF Lakenheath opened a support facility for F-35s. It is the first of its kind for the US Air Force in Europe and Africa.