Visit to RAF Lakenheath


‘Fly, Fight, Win’. That’s the motto of the 48th Fighter Wing of the USAF based at RAF Lakenheath. Today, Thursday 20th August, the American service personnel opened their doors and allowed access to Air Cadets from across the region; an opportunity that only occurs once or twice a year.

The ‘Liberty Wing’ opened the hanger doors for the 80 or 90 eagerly awaiting cadets and like children at a sweet shop they rushed in to see the stands. The USAF had wheeled in two F-15E Strike Eagles to which we could climb upon and look inside. In the air above our heads 2 of the aircraft continually ‘buzzed the tower’ with the Topgun soundtrack running through our heads.

There was also a classic style fire ‘truck’ and dog handlers from the Air Force police. Just as with the F-15’s cadets were able to clamber in and on the fire engine playing with the equipment and emergency lighting. The staff explained to the cadets how they respond to all types of incidents that occur on base and can be deployed outside the fence line if needed by the local emergency services.

Furthermore, there were talks from representatives of the 56th Rescue Squadron explaining how they are used to retrieve downed airman in combat zones. Throughout the day one of their Black Hawks continually flew overhead. Staff from the 48th Medical Group also described how they use Geiger counters and other biomedical equipment to prepare ground to be used as bases whilst on deployment. Everything from soil samples and water tests are carried out, they told us, before an airfield in a combat zone can be utilized.

A massive thanks to the airmen and women of the USAF based at Lakenheath for this amazing chance to see life and work opportunities in the military. We hope this will be the beginning of further links with our counterparts of the United States Air Force.