Lakenheath's First F-35 Squadron

In a recent special publication marking the 80th anniversary of USAFE Mark Ayton provided an overview of the re-activation of the 495th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, and its work-up with the F-35A Lightning II

When a quartet of US Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs landed at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk on December 15, 2021, several things got rolling at the huge base.

First and foremost, the four fifth-generation stealth fighters were on delivery to the resident 48th Fighter Wing for assignment to the 495th Fighter Squadron and they are the first in the US Air Force to be assigned on permanent duty at an overseas base.



The 495th Fighter Squadron was re-activated at RAF Lakenheath on October 1, 2021 - the first day of the 2022 Financial Year for the US Department of Defense. The squadron’s numberplate is no stranger to Lakenheath. Until its deactivation on December 13, 1991, it was assigned to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, one of four squadrons operating the F-111F Aardvark.

According to the 48th Fighter Wing, the 495th Fighter Squadron is scheduled to be fully mission capable during 2022 with a total of 27 aircraft and 60 personnel assigned. 


Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below