USAF F-15, F-16 pilots trade insights with British allies
By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 25, 2017
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A squadron of Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons soared through thick clouds Tuesday for aerial war games with other U.S. and British units.
More than 260 airmen with 18 jets from the 52nd Fighter Wing based at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, have been here since July 10 for several weeks of flight operations with the British air force and USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing and 100th Air Refueling Wing.
“We explore opportunities to increase interoperability, demonstrate our joint readiness and build partnership capacity as well,” said Lt. Col. Michael “Bait” Richard, commander of the 480th Fighter Squadron. “Any chance that we get to integrate with other platforms is great.”
Over the past two weeks, the F-16s flew missions with F-15 Eagles and Strike Eagles, HH-60 Pave Hawks, KC-135 Stratotankers and British Typhoon fighters.
“One of my favorite parts has been the ability to do face-to-face briefs and debriefs (and) to exchange stories at a personal level,” Richard said. “You learn from both.”
An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot conducts preflight operations before takeoff at RAF Lakenheath, England, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. More than 260 Airmen arrived with 18 jets from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2017, for flight operations with airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing, 100th Air Refueling Wing and Royal Air Force.
WILLIAM HOWARD/STARS AND STRIPES