The F-35A Lightning II 5th generation fighter has been deployed at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.
“The forward presence of F-35s support my priority of having ready and postured forces here in Europe,” said Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the U.S. European Command commander and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe. “These aircraft, plus more importantly, the men and women who operate them, fortifies the capacity and capability of our NATO alliance.”
The aircraft belong to the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and will train with European-based allies over the course of their deployment.
“This is an incredible opportunity for (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) Airmen and our NATO allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft,” said Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of USAFE and Air Forces Africa.
The deployment of the premier fifth-generation fighter to Europe was supported by the USAF Air Mobility Command.
A “tanker bridge” from the U.S. to Europe was provided with several refueling aircraft from four different bases offloading more than 400,000 pounds of fuel.