When and where you can see RAF Lakenheath jets in action this October
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Some of the best American firepower will be on display across the skies of Norfolk and Suffolk in the coming week as the US military conducts a “readiness exercise” to ensure it is ready in the event of an emergency.
RAF Lakenheath Tweeted that its 48th Fighter Wing would be carrying out “increased flying sorties” between Monday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 3 as part of training exercise to ensure its air and ground teams are a “ready and capable force”.
That could mean some of the US military’s most hi-tech aircraft, including the F-15 fighter jet, flying across East Anglia and being more visible than usual.
The best vantage points for plane spotters are likely to be in Norfolk and Suffolk, close to the airbase itself - although the nature of the exercises mean they will take place at short notice, meaning keen photographers wil have to be quick with their lenses if they want to get a snap.
A statement from the airbase said that “communities in East Anglia and the surrounding regions may see and hear US aircraft taking off, landing and transiting between RAF Lakenheath and training ranges over the North Sea several times between sunset and sunrise”.
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Airmen have pledged to limit night-time activities as much as possible but say there might be limited flying between sunset and sunrise.
However they said exercises such as this are crucial to “provide both aircrew and support personnel stationed at RAF Lakenheath the experience needed to maintain a ready force capable of ensuring the collective defence of the NATO alliance”.
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“The airmen assigned to RAF Lakenheath are prepared to fly in the defense of our nation, the United Kingdom and our shared allies 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Col William L Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander.
“We know the call could come day or night, and training like this helps us maintain our ability to respond under any conditions.
“We know how lucky we are to be in this country, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to live and serve alongside the people of East Anglia.
“We recognise these night flights are unusual and will continue to do what we can to minimise the impact of our training programme.
“Thank you for your understanding and patience while we complete this short period of critical training.”
RAF Lakenheath Tweeted ahead of the exercises: “There will be increased flying sorties next week to facilitate a number of training requirements for both aircrew and support personnel on the ground & are necessary to ensure a ready and capable force. #AlwaysReady.”
All training is to be conducted in accordance with Ministry of Defence (MoD) and UK airspace regulations.
Anyone with aircraft-related flying concerns should contact the MoD at SWKfirstname.lastname@example.org