Subscribe
F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and ground crew prepare for flight 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.

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and ground crew prepare for flight 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)

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and ground crew prepare for flight 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.

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and ground crew prepare for flight 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)

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.

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)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot performs preflight checks before take-off 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.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot performs preflight checks before take-off 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)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from the base runway for a sortie alongside F-15 Eagles 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.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from the base runway for a sortie alongside F-15 Eagles 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)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from the base runway for war games at RAF Lakenheath, England, Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from the base runway for war games at RAF Lakenheath, England, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

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.”

howard.william@stripes.com Twitter: @William16058388


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up