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RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

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raameagle
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by raameagle » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:56 am

The F-35A is due at Lakenheath in late 2021.
Regards
Mark

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:38 am

Are the F-15C/Ds still leaving or wasn't there a decision to keep them, or was that decision to keep the F-15Es once the F-35s arrive? Also, can't help think the Mildenhall decision relates to KC-46 delays.

Alf
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Alf » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:44 am

Thought the plans have always been the same..

Lakenheath will have 4 squadrons..

2 x F-15E
2 x F-35A from 2021

The F-15C/D will go...

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:22 am

My understanding was that the 493rd is now staying at Lakenheath, or is it just staying a bit longer than originally planned?

'Roughly $100 million of Air Force funding will go toward “air superiority capabilities” by deferring previously planned force reductions. That ensures the retention of F-15C aircraft in the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath as well as support squadron operations and weapon systems to maintain combat readiness.'
https://www.stripes.com/news/air-force- ... n-1.471643

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Freeman Lowell
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Freeman Lowell » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:40 am

page_verify wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:22 am
My understanding was that the 493rd is now staying at Lakenheath, or is it just staying a bit longer than originally planned?

'Roughly $100 million of Air Force funding will go toward “air superiority capabilities” by deferring previously planned force reductions. That ensures the retention of F-15C aircraft in the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath as well as support squadron operations and weapon systems to maintain combat readiness.'
https://www.stripes.com/news/air-force- ... n-1.471643
The cited quote refers to the proposed 2018 budget and therefore supports your question rather than your understanding perhaps? :unsure:
Freeman

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TonyO
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by TonyO » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:33 pm

From a story I wrote last July...

I appreciate that events may have moved on since then, especially in terms of jet arrivals, and pre-COVID-19 and Trump's wall.

My highlighting.
Infrastructure Work Begins on USAF F-35 First Permanent Home in Europe

RAF LAKENHEATH, UK - Contractors have begun infrastructure work paving the way for the U.S. Air Force’s F-35s to have a permanent presence in Europe.
Two squadrons of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters will be established at RAF Lakenheath during the early 2020s with the first aircraft arriving in early 2021. The two new squadrons will grow the based 49th Fighter Wing by an additional 1,244 personnel who will begin arriving in early 2021.
In preparation for their arrival, infrastructure work has begun on new hangars, operations buildings, maintenance and logistic support facilities that will look after the 54 F-35s, at a cost of £160 million, work which has been contracted by the British government’s Defense Infrastructure Organization.
The work at Lakenheath is part of a wider £1.5 billion investment in U.S. bases in the UK planned for the next 7-10 years which also includes work at RAF Fairford, which will become the UK operations base for USAF RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft. There will also be work at Molesworth and Menwith Hill. The lion’s share of the money is being invested into Lakenheath, around £800 million which also includes a new hospital, new schools and accommodation for the airmen arriving to support the F-35.
Lakenheath is currently home to three fast jet squadrons, two flying the F-15E Strike Eagle, the other operating the F-15C Eagle. The first F-35A squadron will form in 2021 and the F-15Cs will leave Lakenheath by the end of 2022 as the second F-35 unit forms.
Basing the F-35 at Lakenheath is a “great opportunity to reinforce our strategic relationship with the UK and in particular with the Royal Air Force at Marham,” said Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe. Recent deployments [of the F-35] have been reinforced how we are going to operate with our partners here [in Europe], so to be so close to our partners at Marham, we can not only work together from an operational perspective, but garner their lessons and share ours and really focus on how we best interoperate together to achieve the effects we are required to deliver,” he told Aviation Week.
The complexity of the work associated with the F-35 at Lakenheath is considerably less complex than the work which has taken place 25 miles up the road at RAF Marham, the UK’s main operating base for the aircraft. Marham’s Project Anvil is costing £500 million to prepare the base for 48 F-35Bs and has included building vertical landing pads, refurbishment of runways and building a new training center.
“The scope and scale of what was done at Marham, all of that is not required for F-35s to operate at Lakenheath, the airfield is ready to go” said Lt. Col. Clinton Warner, the 48th Fighter Wing’s director of the F-35 Program Integration Office.
His 80-strong team, which includes several F-35 maintainers has taken lessons from F-35 related infrastructure projects in the U.S. and overseas and working to design the facilities around the much smaller footprint available at Lakenheath.
“Other F-35 bases, particularly in the U.S. are quite spread out,” says Warner, “Here we have to be more compact and be more efficient with the space.” Lessons are being learnt from when the F-15E Strike Eagle was introduced in the 1990s. Back then, both squadrons were integrated into single facility known as the Strike Eagle Complex. The two F-35 squadrons will be housed a similarly-designed building.
A bilateral working group established between the USAF and their Royal Air Force counterparts has been looking at how the two nations will expand opportunities for training.
“The bilateral working group has already had some positive results working on airspace and range issues and shared training infrastructure,” says Warner. He notes that several so-called Managed Danger Area (MDA) used for military flight training by both UK and U.S. forces have already been expanded in part to prepare for the training needs of fifth-generation fighters.
Building work on a facility which will hold full mission simulators will be among the first of the new F-35-related facilities to be completed so it can be fitted out with training equipment for both pilots and ground technicians.
The decision to base the F-35 at Lakenheath was taken in 2015 as a result of the findings of the DoD’s European Infrastructure Consolidation which also called for the closure of nearby RAF Mildenhall, home of a special operations unit and a tanker squadron. Both units were expected to move to Germany however the closure of the base has pushed into the mid-2020s, local media reports have said.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Reach1985 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:32 am

TonyO wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:33 pm
From a story I wrote last July...

I appreciate that events may have moved on since then, especially in terms of jet arrivals, and pre-COVID-19 and Trump's wall.

My highlighting.
Infrastructure Work Begins on USAF F-35 First Permanent Home in Europe

RAF LAKENHEATH, UK - Contractors have begun infrastructure work paving the way for the U.S. Air Force’s F-35s to have a permanent presence in Europe.
Two squadrons of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters will be established at RAF Lakenheath during the early 2020s with the first aircraft arriving in early 2021. The two new squadrons will grow the based 49th Fighter Wing by an additional 1,244 personnel who will begin arriving in early 2021.
In preparation for their arrival, infrastructure work has begun on new hangars, operations buildings, maintenance and logistic support facilities that will look after the 54 F-35s, at a cost of £160 million, work which has been contracted by the British government’s Defense Infrastructure Organization.
The work at Lakenheath is part of a wider £1.5 billion investment in U.S. bases in the UK planned for the next 7-10 years which also includes work at RAF Fairford, which will become the UK operations base for USAF RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft. There will also be work at Molesworth and Menwith Hill. The lion’s share of the money is being invested into Lakenheath, around £800 million which also includes a new hospital, new schools and accommodation for the airmen arriving to support the F-35.
Lakenheath is currently home to three fast jet squadrons, two flying the F-15E Strike Eagle, the other operating the F-15C Eagle. The first F-35A squadron will form in 2021 and the F-15Cs will leave Lakenheath by the end of 2022 as the second F-35 unit forms.
Basing the F-35 at Lakenheath is a “great opportunity to reinforce our strategic relationship with the UK and in particular with the Royal Air Force at Marham,” said Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe. Recent deployments [of the F-35] have been reinforced how we are going to operate with our partners here [in Europe], so to be so close to our partners at Marham, we can not only work together from an operational perspective, but garner their lessons and share ours and really focus on how we best interoperate together to achieve the effects we are required to deliver,” he told Aviation Week.
The complexity of the work associated with the F-35 at Lakenheath is considerably less complex than the work which has taken place 25 miles up the road at RAF Marham, the UK’s main operating base for the aircraft. Marham’s Project Anvil is costing £500 million to prepare the base for 48 F-35Bs and has included building vertical landing pads, refurbishment of runways and building a new training center.
“The scope and scale of what was done at Marham, all of that is not required for F-35s to operate at Lakenheath, the airfield is ready to go” said Lt. Col. Clinton Warner, the 48th Fighter Wing’s director of the F-35 Program Integration Office.
His 80-strong team, which includes several F-35 maintainers has taken lessons from F-35 related infrastructure projects in the U.S. and overseas and working to design the facilities around the much smaller footprint available at Lakenheath.
“Other F-35 bases, particularly in the U.S. are quite spread out,” says Warner, “Here we have to be more compact and be more efficient with the space.” Lessons are being learnt from when the F-15E Strike Eagle was introduced in the 1990s. Back then, both squadrons were integrated into single facility known as the Strike Eagle Complex. The two F-35 squadrons will be housed a similarly-designed building.
A bilateral working group established between the USAF and their Royal Air Force counterparts has been looking at how the two nations will expand opportunities for training.
“The bilateral working group has already had some positive results working on airspace and range issues and shared training infrastructure,” says Warner. He notes that several so-called Managed Danger Area (MDA) used for military flight training by both UK and U.S. forces have already been expanded in part to prepare for the training needs of fifth-generation fighters.
Building work on a facility which will hold full mission simulators will be among the first of the new F-35-related facilities to be completed so it can be fitted out with training equipment for both pilots and ground technicians.
The decision to base the F-35 at Lakenheath was taken in 2015 as a result of the findings of the DoD’s European Infrastructure Consolidation which also called for the closure of nearby RAF Mildenhall, home of a special operations unit and a tanker squadron. Both units were expected to move to Germany however the closure of the base has pushed into the mid-2020s, local media reports have said.
Thanks for this. Good overview of developments at LN. I hope that Aviation Week corrected the 49th FW to 48th in the final piece? ;-)

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TonyO
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by TonyO » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:37 am

Good spot, they didn't.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by David Vincent » Tue May 05, 2020 6:05 am

This in today's Telegraph could be a game changer: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... cts-major/
...a man too long without sleep, looking for a shortcut that he never found.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by mushbuster » Tue May 05, 2020 11:30 am

As that link is paywalled a thoughtful person on UKAR copied it into this post https://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85684

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by baz1 » Tue May 05, 2020 11:48 am

thanks for that mushbuster very interesting read , Trump needs to think of the special relationship we have as regards Fairford been used as a forward operating base for B1 B2 B52 when at war with other countries.
any thoughts on that guys.

Vulcan74
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Vulcan74 » Tue May 05, 2020 12:17 pm

Certainly a concern if the US want to pull some of their forces out, due to a stupid decision by our government to keep a certain country happy!!

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Agent K » Tue May 05, 2020 12:20 pm

baz1 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:48 am
thanks for that mushbuster very interesting read , Trump needs to think of the special relationship we have as regards Fairford been used as a forward operating base for B1 B2 B52 when at war with other countries.
any thoughts on that guys.
He wouldn't know where Fairford is (probably not even the UK...) but he will act on advice from his (poor) set of chiefs.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by page_verify » Tue May 05, 2020 12:43 pm

There's clearly a story within a story here.

How about:

1. Mildenhall has to close to save money.
2. Fairford cannot be upgraded to home the RC-135s as there's no money.
3. An existing base in Europe will become home to the RC-135s to overcome the two problems above.

However that's not newsworthy on its own. Instead, rumour has it, the RAF once needed to decide what to do with its RC-135s to overcome Waddington's short runway. One of those options might've been to colocate its RC-135s with the USAF's at Fairford. But imagine if that wasn't an option any more because the Huawei decision meant the USAF RC-135s go somewhere else. The RAF might still have a problem and not enough money to solve it. The US probably know how big an issue that would be for the UK's strategic intelligence capabilities.

I suspect this specific situation has made the news as it's the only intelligence-related pressure point either nation wants to drag into the media.

This is about far more than where some RC-135s fly from.

HighFlyer21
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by HighFlyer21 » Tue May 05, 2020 3:25 pm

They should really base some stuff at Prestwick given all it's strong advantages and the fact HMS Gannet is soon to reopen again.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Spitfire88 » Wed May 06, 2020 8:23 am

I believe work at Fairford has started on the new RCs hangar down by the base lake.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by skidrow » Wed May 06, 2020 9:10 am

I think you'll find that all works at Fairford in regard to Mildenhall relocations are on hold pending a review of the closure which is official USAF policy at the moment. No work is to commence at Spang, Ramstein or Fairford until the review findings are published/released.

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by baz1 » Wed May 06, 2020 9:50 am

our RCs operate ok from Waddington I think the problem was that they cant take off with a full fuel load?

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by Vulcanone » Wed May 06, 2020 10:26 am

I suppose it could be done, but not advisable.

After watching the footage of the Israeli 707s depart last September...

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Post by thevulcan » Wed May 06, 2020 11:02 am

Take a look at google Earth for fairford just shocked me that a new huge hangar has been constructed behind the U2 hangars as well as an ISTAR complex behind that. This all was not there before last July.

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