21 Mar 2019

Demolition begins at RAF Lakenheath

Buildings are being demolished at RAF Lakenheath to build a new flight simulator facility and air hangar.

RAF Lakenheath will be the site of a new flight simulator facility and hangar along with other new additions after the demolition of 18 buildings. Special equipment has been brought in to demolish the reinforced buildings and material will be sent away to be recycled.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) awarded contracts for the construction of an air hangar to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick last year. The contract is work £160million and they are set to deliver infrastructure that will support the first international base for US Air F-35s.

Timber and metal from the demolition will be preserved and recycled and concrete will be ground up and reused on the project. Hydraulic excavators with special attachments are being used to tear down the reinforced concrete and steel structures.

Col. Christopher Leonard, 48th Mission Support Group Commander, said: “Through outstanding teamwork and collaboration with our Defence Infrastructure Organisation mission partners, the 48th Fighter Wing is excited to start the demolition of existing facilities to clear the site for the F-35 campus.”

“This campus will be the home to the first two US Air Force F-35 squadrons in Europe, thus reassuring our commitment and enhancing interoperability with the RAF and our NATO allies. We appreciate the Ministry of Defence and DIO’s commitment and support of US Visiting Forces in the UK.”

Construction will begin in the summer of this year after demolition work is complete. It is expected to benefit the local economy, providing jobs for 700 onsite contractors at the height of work, and making a difference for the 1,000 personnel and their families who live at Lakenheath.

The supporting infrastructure will also include a maintenance unit and storage facilities alongside the new hangars and flight simulator facility. The F-35s are due to arrive in 2021, continuing Lakenheath’s support for the US Air Force in the UK.

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