Enough time has passed since that time for the pilots flying it, who like to call themselves Valkyries as a unit, to take the thing out for a spin on more than one occasion. And now we get to officially see the F-35 doing its thing in the skies over Europe.
The photo we have here shows the F-35 on a routine training mission “in support of our host nation partnership,“ at the beginning of February, right over the base. It’s a sight Americans are used to by now, but not something the Europeans get to see that much of – unlike in the case of a number of allied nations already using the F-35, this one is fielded by an American military unit stationed there.
RAF Lakenheath was chosen back in 2015 as the place where the first USAF F-35A squadrons will be deployed, based on “very close ties with the RAF, existing infrastructure, and combined training opportunities. “
"Our coalition forces train and fight in the most dynamic theatre, requiring the most advanced platforms,” said at the time when the first airplane was delivered General Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.
“The Valkyries are leading our F-35 integration across Europe. We’ve come a long way, and now we’re extending our reach as a coalition force and what we will accomplish together."