Buzzards at RAF Lakenheath
From July 20th until August 6th, RAF Lakenheath was the temporary home of the 510th Fighter Squadron (Buzzards), normally based at Aviano Air Force Base, Italy
Report and photos by Danny Reijnen
August 18, 2018
Approximately 200 Airmen assigned to the 510th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Wing, participated in a flying training deployment at RAF Lakenheath.
They participated in a flying deployment at the Suffolk base, home to the USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing (FW), to train in NATO operations with the USAFE and RAF units.
During this training event, 14 F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 510th Fighter Squadron participated in training, focused on maintaining joint readiness while building interoperability with NATO and other U.S. Air Force assets.
The F-16’s flew almost every day in 2 waves with at least 10 aircraft.
Lakenheath is familiar with having other USAFE units at their airbase.
In 2017, eighteen F-16’s from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem in Germany were deployed to RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.
The Spangdahlem aircraft were present back then at Lakenheath for several weeks whilst groundworks took place at their home base.
The 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath is the Statue of Liberty Wing, the only USAF wing with both a number and a name. Liberty Wing has been one of the premier fighter wings of the United States Air Forces in Europe, spending over 50 years as part of USAFE.
Squadrons of the 48th Fighter Wing:
492d Fighter Squadron (F-15E)
493d Fighter Squadron (F-15C/D)
494th Fighter Squadron (F-15E)
Normally, with all squadrons at their homebase, Lakenheath houses around 70 F-15’s.
Currently the 494th FS is on deployment to the middle-east with 18 F-15E’s supporting US and allied forces and 12 F-15C/D’s are deployed to Keflavik for policing duties.
With at least 30 F-15’s based elsewhere and the F-16’s from the 510th Fighter Squadron returning towards Aviano, the Suffolk skies will be relatively quiet in coming months.