RAF Lakenheath • First sorties of the year 2022 • Visiting SJ tail F-15’s from the 4th FW of the Seymour Johnson Air Base, the recently arrived F35A Lightnings and lots of F15’s of the 48th FW.
This was the first day (4th January 2022) of activity for the fighter squadrons from their Christmas break. The morning was wet with a little low cloud but things warmed up very quickly on runway 24. From 0830, it was non stop action, even way after sunset.
25 miles NE of Cambridge, RAF LAKENHEATH “The Liberty Wing” consists of more than 4,500 active-duty military members, over 1,000 British and U.S. civilians and includes a geographically-separated unit at nearby RAF Feltwell. RAF Lakenheath is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing.
As the USAFE’s only F-15 fighter wing, they bring unique air combat capabilities to the fight, such as the most advanced Joint Direct Attack Munitions employed by the F-15E. The fighter wing provides all-weather, day-or-night air superiority, air-to-ground precision combat capability and multi-staged improvement program avionics. The F-15E Strike Eagle employs Precision Guided Missiles (PGMs) using the Low Altitude Night Targeting and Infrared Navigation (LANTIRN) system and Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod technology. The F-15C Eagle employs advanced technology including the AIM-9X munitions and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System providing the most advanced technology, capable of eliminating enemy air threats anytime, anywhere. When teamed together, the F-15E and F-15C provide air combat capability never before seen in the history of airpower.
Since September 11, 2001, the 48th FW has played a key role in antiterrorism operations, flying combat missions and providing combat support. The 48th FW continues to provide responsive combat capability for our NATO allies and the U.S. military at every turn.
The 4th Fighter Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command’s Ninth Air Force. It is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, where it is also the host unit.
The 4th Fighter Wing is one of two Air Force units that can trace its history to another country. The wing’s 4th Operations Group had its origins as the Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons (Nos. 71, 121 and 133 Squadrons). When the United States entered World War II, these units, and the American pilots in them, were transferred to the United States Army Air Forces VIII Fighter Command, forming the 4th Fighter Group on 12 September 1942.
The 4th Fighter Group was the first fighter group to use belly tanks, the first to penetrate Germany, the first to accompany bombers to Berlin, the first to accomplish the England-to-Russia shuttle and the first to down jet fighters. The group was credited with the destruction of 1,016 (including strafing kills) enemy aircraft, more than any other American fighter unit, and produced 38 aces.
(Tail Code: SJ). The 4th Operations Group is the largest organization in the 4th Fighter Wing. The group consists of two operational fighter squadrons, the 335th and 336th; two fighter training squadrons, the 333d and 334th; and two support squadrons, which include the 4th Training Squadron (Strike Eagle Academics) and the 4th Operations Support Squadron. The group provides worldwide command and control for two operational F-15E squadrons and is responsible for conducting the Air Force’s only F-15E training operation, qualifying crews to serve in worldwide combat-ready positions.
87-206 (yellow tail fin flash)
87-187 (yellow tail fin flash)
88-1680 (blue / red tail fin flash) 4TS
88-1671 (yellow tail fin flash)
87-206 (yellow tail fin flash)
**-046 (y/blk/y tail)
84-019 (y/blk/y tail)
00-3002 (w/r/w tail)
00-3004 (w/r/w tail)
**-2002 (w/r/w tail)
91-324 (w/r/w tail) El Jefe
01-2004 (w/r/w tail)
91-309 (w/r/w tail)
00-3000 (w/r/w tail)
01-2002 (w/r/w tail)
**-314 (w/r/w) 494th FS
Yes, it’s true, the TED CONINGSBY SQUADRON patch is now available on PRE-ORDER and will be ready mid JANUARY 2022. Superbly made by SQUADRON PRINTS, who supply genuine RAF patches, this is exciting times for everyone who has been supporting Ted throughout his journey. You can order your patch at www.tedconingsby.co.uk
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