A four-ship of F-35As undertook a low-level training sortie on May 2, which took in the Mach Loop in Wales. Nigel Blake

The first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning ll training deployment to Europe has been completed at RAF Lakenheath, with the aircraft starting to return to the US on May 4 as we went to press. Six aircraft had arrived at the Suffolk base on April 15 with another pair following four days later.

The aircraft from Hill AFB, Utah were drawn from the 34th Fighter Squadron (FS)/388th Fighter Wing (FW) and Air Force Reserve Command’s 466th FS/419th FW. Lt Col George Watkins, CO of the 34th FS, said after arriving in the UK, the crews were looking forward to “working with F-15s and Typhoons, so we can get good pilot and maintenance training out of this trip.”

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