Construction work progressing at RAF Lakenheath

Construction work at RAF Lakenheath to accommodate new F-35 jets is on track as two key buildings are taking shape.

New facilities at RAF Lakenheath are taking shape as construction work progresses ahead of the arrival of F-35 jets. The first of the aircraft are due to arrive in 2021 and new infrastructure will help train future F-35 pilots.

The new facilities will include an Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU), flight simulator facility, and additional accommodation for the estimated 1,200 new personnel expected to arrive along with the F-35s. The AMU will also include amenities, lecture theatres, classroom areas, and administration facilities.

Keith Maddison, DIO USVF Programme Director, said: “We are pleased with the progress achieved at the base since the groundbreaking event. The site is changing and improving every day and it is exciting to see key buildings like the flight simulator and the maintenance unit beginning to take shape. We are proud to be playing a central role in preparing RAF Lakenheath to become the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe.”

USAF 48th Operations Group Commander Colonel Jason Camilletti said: “We appreciate the collaboration with our teammates to deliver these world-class facilities. By creating synergy in the training and development of our aircrew, maintainers, and support personnel, this shared space will ensure we’ll continue to be ready to secure the sovereign skies above.”

The £160million contract for the construction was won by Kier VolkerFitzpatrick and ground was broken on the project earlier in the year. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is working with Forest Heath District Council to create training and employment opportunities in the local area.

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