Six F-22 Raptor jets Have Deployed To RAF Lakenheath, UK

Six U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors have deployed to Europe as part of the European Deterrence Initiative.

Six U.S. Air Force Raptor jets, belonging to the 27th Fighter Squadron and 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, have deployed to RAF Lakenheath, UK, on Oct. 8, using radio callsign Trend 11-16.

At the time of writing it’s still unclear whether 6 additional F-22s, expected in the next few days as they return stateside from their deployment to the Middle East to support Operation Inherent Resolve, will remain in the UK along with the other jets (their callsign will be Trend 21-26).

The stealth multirole aircraft that will remain in the UK will be involved in a FTD (Flying Training Deployment) to conduct flying activity with other U.S. aircraft based in Europe as well as regional NATO allies.

According to the official USAF release “while in the European theater, the F-22s will also forward deploy from the U.K. to other NATO bases to maximize training opportunities, demonstrate our steadfast commitment to NATO Allies and deter any actions that destabilize regional security. This FTD is fully funded by the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI).”

One of the Raptors that have deployed to the UK on Oct. 8, 2017. (Image credit: U.S. Air Force).

The last time U.S. F-22s deployed to Europe was in Spring 2016, when the 95th FS completed a historic deployment to RAF Lakenheath with 12 stealth jets in what was at the time the largest Raptor deployment in Europe.

During the deployment, part of their Global Response Force training, the F-22s performed several training sorties (usually two waves were launched each day, one at around 08.00AM, the second in the early afternoon): the Raptors took part in exercise Iron Hand 16-3, conducted air training with all three RAF Lakenheath fighter squadrons and RAF Typhoons.

The F-22 also had the chance to pay visit to some NATO countries: Romania, Lithuania and also performed a flyover for the 100th anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille in Paris. Last but not least, the F-22s had a chance to practice low-level flying in the famous Mach Loop.

The F-22s landing at RAF Lakenheath on Oct. 8, 2017. (Image credit: 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.


  1. When it comes to dealing with Russia, actions speak louder than words. If not for NATO, Russia would have already overrun and annexed the Baltics and large swaths of Eastern Europe. They would have pressed as far as they could until they met resistance. Well, nothing spells resistance like F-22. And don’t you forget it!

    The Russian Bear only preys on the weak and indigent. Show strength, and they turn tail, show their puckered sphincters and run straight back to their borders. NATO keep Europe safe, and F-22, F-35 will lead the way forward with absolute certainty and confidence into the future. NEVER TRUST RUSSIA! Teach your kids this because history is easily forgotten.

      • Now, please mark all the Russian bases on their border. You know – those that would be used as jumping-off points for invasion of their small neighbors. Oh, you’re right. Russia has no history of invading and subjugating their neighbors, do they? Countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and now Ukraine.

        … and don’t tell me the USSR wasn’t Russia, or Stalin was Georgian. All military and political power flowed from Moscow. Oh yeah – the Soviet Union was nothing more than Imperial Russia.

        Learn! Pick up a history book Holtz, and please – make sure it isn’t Mein Kampf. That’s not a history book! Even if it the author, your former Chancellor, thought it was an historical forecast. You know – like a weatherman. And we know where your wind blows. No matter what direction you face, it’s always coming in on your left. Strange phenomena. Consider donating your body to science.

        • Leroy, the Georgians Iosif Vissarionovich Shugashvili (Stalin) and Lavrenti Pavlez Beria (NKVD) not only lived in Moscow, they WERE your Moscow. They owned Moscow and the USSR. Stalin defined everything, politically and militarily. Period.

          You keep mixing Soviet Union and Russia.

          BTW, Russians have a saying: “Russia never started any of its wars; but always ended them”.

          Remember that, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, Rumania, Slovakia, Croatia, etc. attacked the USSR in Nazi uniforms (Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, SS, etc.).

          I doubt it; but if you respond, please use only verfiable facts.

      • What a dumb map. You think NATO has a base in Kazakhstan?

        What do Somalia and the Philippines have to do with Russia?

        Why did Russia invade Georgia and Ukraine?

        Why does Russia support dictators in Iran and Syria?

        • Oh right, the US is always “defending the freedom of the western world” when waging wars against countries who would never have been able to compete in terms of military power. It wasn’t in the name of corporate interest and American hegemony, right? Then “The Grand Chessboard” is pure fiction. There must be a reason why this book was printed only once in German and never again.

          Kazakhstan is a NATO ally.

        • The map shows All NATO bases and how Russia is threatening those bases by “locating” its own territory close to them.
          Institutionally NATO is a North Atlantic “Defensive” bloc commanded by the US. Of course, Egipt, the Persian Gulf, South East Asia, the Far East and now Georgia and the Black Sea are part of the defence of Europe, Canada and the US. By the same logic, I am a motorcycle.

          The EU concluded that Georgia started the war with Russia in 2008, but bad Russia defended itself too much.

          The stupid Ukrainians never proved the Russian invasion that we all clearly see in our tv and the dead Russian divisions we know for sure are there because our unbiased MSM tells us so.

          Well, our media sometimes lie. They wrote that the Syrian monster pediatrist Assad had been democratically elected by his own people in elections monitored by the EU (he was). Also they said the Iranian dictator was elected (he was). Lying liars. Luckily we have you to help us know the truth. Thanx a bunch and keep the good “job”.

    • You are right Leroy! Let’s hide our kids. Russia is a black hole, and they eat children for breakfast and disabled seniors for dessert! Time to educate the ignorant citizens of our western civilization. We need leaders like you to save us, especially in Eastern Europe and here in Canada. Your crusade is inspiring to us the hopeless ignoramus. Keep the good work, keep your illuminating comments and may Ares bless you!

        • Every word he said was spot on. So naturally I gave him an upvote. So did you. Seeing how you respond to me so much, pay so much attention to me, I know you are also one of my secret admirers here on The Aviationist. C’mon now, admit it. No need to be shy. : )

  2. Oh look !
    Its the ”most advanced fighter in the world” !
    The one that moves 1000 km away , when the Su-30SM ,
    MiG-29SMT ,and Su-35 arrives near by.
    Of course… is moving for ”exercises” ! coughhh coughhhhhuuu

  3. I could refute every accusation you made, but why waste my time?

    You’re a leftist boor, like many in Germany these days, so *facepalm* yourself all you want. It won’t knock any sense into ya, but I am starting to think maybe all those hits gave you some chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) damage. You know, like football (American football – a real game) players get. That would explain your many harebrained comments. Am I right?

    Well, l guess we’ll need a brain tissue sample to make a diagnose. Not a good idea. You need every still-working cell you can fire off! Plus you’d have to be – well, you know. In the afterlife. But since you don’t believe in The Almighty, I guess I’d simply have to say gone. Into the ether. But I am pretty sure I know where you are REALLY gonna go. Ouch! Shouldn’t have been so hateful. Or maybe you believe in the 72 virgin thing? Not down there! : )

    • That’s all you have to say in response? Wild guesses and again, personal attacks on a level that defies all logic. I’m really starting to pity you.

  4. Obviously the task force representatives are running out of tales from their propaganda myth factory. Since they cannot refute opposing arguments based on truth, they resort to personal attacks against commenters. Tired tactics. Holztransistor states facts. The force states insults. Truth and facts are anathema for them. And they never answer any questions.

    Trying to reason with the force is unreasonable. They have a rigid script based on Hitler’s “Big Lie” methodology (the bigger the lie -about Russia- the more credible it is; repeat it often and forever, everywhere; do not let go, create new ones constantly about many subjects; never debate them; never say anything good about Russia).

    The only way to defeat them is to air only facts and truth, with a minimum of personal opinions. They are rewriting history. Fortunately, they cannot burn history.

    And BTW, they do not seem to be real Aviation people.

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