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Two more F-35 Squadrons to join USAFE (UK-Based)


Tiger331
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So,

 

News from the ongoing NATO summit where the US has indicated that two additional US F-35 Squadrons will be based in the UK. I wonder if these will be squeezed into Lakenheath or if there are any thoughts to reactivating another airfield to house them (Alconbury perhaps ?).

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I would have thought Lakenheath is pretty full once all the squadrons  based there are up to strength. 

Not sure what state Alconbury is in these days. I bet they wished they had hung on to Bentwaters. 

If they want something quick, there is always Leeming, which is pretty empty these days. Only the Qatari? Hawks and a few Tutors. It is also near the North Sea and Northern England/Borders playgrounds that the F15Es seem to like. 

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Most of the land and runway at Alconbury has been sold. Leeming with its hardened aircraft shelters would seem logical as its actively up and running. 

Edited by Whitewolf
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Thanks for the feedback. My knowledge of the current UK real military estate is a little rusty these days having worked and lived overseas since 2005 but I guess Leeming would be a good choice, following the demise of 100 Sqn and the 'legacy' HASs from the Tornado F.3 days. 

 

Oh well, time will tell.

 

 

 

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Forgive my stupid question but is Leuchars absolutely finished as an air base now?  I suspect geography might not suit anyway?

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Woodbridge is still used for exercises so presumably the infrastructure is still there? If Leeming is a possibility then bases such as Cottesmore and Wittering should also be in the frame. 

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5 minutes ago, Latinbear said:

Woodbridge is still used for exercises so presumably the infrastructure is still there? If Leeming is a possibility then bases such as Cottesmore and Wittering should also be in the frame. 

Pretty sure Wittering is a training base of some sort so would be pretty easy for the F35s to move into. Cottesmore still has the runway but its fenced off from the rest of the base so would be more work to ready. Home to the Army now. Be great if they did as Im only 12 miles away.

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12 minutes ago, Darth Vader said:

Pretty sure Wittering is a training base of some sort so would be pretty easy for the F35s to move into. Cottesmore still has the runway but its fenced off from the rest of the base so would be more work to ready. Home to the Army now. Be great if they did as Im only 12 miles away.

 

Wittering is probably not suitable. It is now home to many of the RAF's Combat Support Squadrons and does not have any HASs (Same for Cottesmore of course). This was all predicated on the Harriers deploying off-base during any increase in tension or need for re-deployment. Probably not for consideration, therefore.   

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A few years back a couple of us surmised that it was probably not wise to close down as many flying stations as we did in the UK....on the premise that 'one day' we may well need one or two to be rejuvenated......that day may well have come.

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1 minute ago, Tiger331 said:

 

Wittering is probably not suitable. It is now home to many of the RAF's Combat Support Squadrons and does not have any HASs (Same for Cottesmore of course). This was all predicated on the Harriers deploying off-base during any increase in tension or need for re-deployment. Probably not for consideration, therefore.   

I know the USAF never consider my local bases but a grumpy old guy can dream cant he ?

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USAF told us they could have Bentwaters operational in a week. Portable radar, comms and barrier. Still a good 7000 feet of excellent runway. Might have to evict a few tenants though. Is Marham full? What is the current status of Wittering?

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3 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

USAF told us they could have Bentwaters operational in a week. Portable radar, comms and barrier. Still a good 7000 feet of excellent runway. Might have to evict a few tenants though. Is Marham full? What is the current status of Wittering?

I reckon they will be down your neck of the woods chap.

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16 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

The answer: LN

Rather logical move, as short term capability is relevant now IMHO!

There was an additional large F-15E presence from SJ for a couple of months, so they should be able to squeeze them in!

Everything  

Long term is difficult to predict in the current  Ukraine situation  anyways...

But I can see a base in Poland or Romania to be converted into something permanent US.....

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14 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

 

So, this doesn't actually tell us much since it does not specifically refer to two additional Squadrons. It could be 'word spin' for the two that are already going in or it could be an additional two with the F-15s now permanently relocating to Eastern Europe. Only time will tell, I guess. Let's see what actually happens over time.

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16 hours ago, junglierating said:

Ummm...SJ? Whasat?

Ummmm ... there were also LN F-15s... but loads of SJ as well... quite filling the base....

 

Have a look here as well for photos from earlier this year.... :)

 

Additional US (USAF - United States Air Force) Strike Eagles are based in MO ( Mountain Home) and I think AK ( Alaska)

That's it for frontline currently I think!

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