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RAF Lakenheath gives air enthusiasts inside view

Photographer Matt Pullen documents an F-15E Strike Eagle of the 493rd Fighter Squadron during an Aviation Enthusiasts tour at RAF Lakenheath, Wednesday, June 22, 2016. This was only the second time photographers were allowed access to the flight line.

WILLIAM HOWARD/STARS AND STRIPES

By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 23, 2016

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Nine British photographers had the rare opportunity to document fighter jets in action at RAF Lakenheath during the second Aviation Enthusiasts tour Wednesday.

“This year we started doing quarterly aviation enthusiasts photo days,” said Master Sgt. Eric Burks, media relations NCOIC, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs. “This continues and builds upon the relationship that we have with citizens of the United Kingdom.”

Most of the day was spent with the airmen of the 493rd Fighter Squadron where the aviation enthusiasts were invited not only to the flight line but also hang out with pilots in the squadron’s bar.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to come here and see the jets up close, meet the air crews and see the overall operation,” said Nick Howlett, an aviation enthusiast since childhood. “I think it just helps the community feel much closer to the airmen here.”

howard.william@stripes.com

Photographers James Shelbourn, left, and Matt Pillen, right, document an F-15C Eagle during a tour at RAF Lakenheath, Wednesday, June 22, 2016. This was the second time aviation enthusiasts were invited to photograph American fighter jets at the base.
WILLIAM HOWARD/STARS AND STRIPES

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