RAF Lakenheath is once gain hosting Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, airmen and associated equipment for a short-term deployment to the U.S. European Command area of operations.
The pilots and support personnel are from the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The aircraft, assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron – also part of the 1st Fighter Wing – are in Europe on their return to Langley from a deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
The purpose of this deployment, “Raptor Redeploy,” is to train and conduct engagements with NATO allies and partners and to show a 5th-generation fighter presence in Europe. While at RAF Lakenheath, the F-22 squadron will conduct Dissimilar Air Combat Training with aircraft from the 48th Fighter Wing, U.S. Navy and NATO allies.
As the world’s premiere operational 5th-generation fighter, the Raptor’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility and situational awareness combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry make it the best air dominance fighter in the world.
American 5th-generation fighter presence in European demonstrates U.S. ability to deter current and potential threats, assure allies and demonstrate the ability to respond in a timely way should deterrence fail.
Raptor Redeploy is funded in part by the European Deterrence Initiative.
Photo caption: F-22 Raptors assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. taxiing after arriving at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England Oct. 5, 2018. The Raptors will train with U.S. allies and partners as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to European regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)