Commander hammers home USAF’s plans for Lakenheath F-35s

Col Evan Pettus, 48th Fighter Wing commander, swings a sledgehammer  to start the first step in developing the infrastructure needed for the wings future F-35A Lightning II squadrons. (USAF/Airman 1st Class Christopher  Sparks)
Col Evan Pettus, 48th Fighter Wing commander, swings a sledgehammer to start the first step in developing the infrastructure needed for the wings future F-35A Lightning II squadrons. (USAF/Airman 1st Class Christopher Sparks)

The first physical step in providing the infrastructure for RAF Lakenheath’s new F-35 Lightning squadrons was taken by the 48th Fighter Wing’s commander with a sledgehammer.

Col Evan Pettus’ sledgehammer swing symbolically began work on an area that will eventually be home to about 1,200 Airmen and 54 F-35A Lightnings of two fighter squadrons.

He said: “2021 may seem like the distant future, but there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure RAF Lakenheath is prepared for the F-35A’s arrival.”

The first F-35A fighters are scheduled to arrive in November 2021, with all aircraft and associated personnel expected to be in place by autumn 2023.