U.S. F-22 Raptors make surprise deployment to RAF Lakenheath, UK

Two F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska’s 3rd Wing conduct approach training, Thursday, March 24, 2016. The F-22 is the U.S. Air Force’s premium fifth-generation fighter asset. (U.S. Air Force photo/Justin Connaher)

Four Raptors have arrived at RAF Lakenheath.

On Apr. 11, using radio callsign “Tabor 41,” four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors deployed to RAF Lakenheath, UK, to conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft.

The stealth aircraft belong to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, were met by F-15E Strike Eagles from Lakenheath and performed a touch and go at RAF Marham before heading to their final destination, where they will be deployed until May.

F-22 deploy to EGUL

“The 5th generation, multi-role fighter aircraft will also forward deploy from the U.K. to NATO bases to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security,” says an Air Force release.

The bit surprising (at least for aviation enthusiasts and spotters) deployment marks the second time the U.S. European Command has hosted a deployment of F-22 aircraft in the EUCOM Area of Responsibility.

Top image: file photo of two F-22s (U.S. Air Force)

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.