First US Air Force facility of its kind in Europe opens at RAF Lakenheath

48th Fighter Wing senior leaders at the first F-35A Lightning II support facility at Royal Air Force Lakenheath

48th Fighter Wing senior leaders participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first F-35A Lightning II support facility at RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: US Air Force

The first F-35 support facility in Europe has opened at RAF Lakenheath.

The new facility for F-35A Lightning II boasts 16 maintenance bays, covering 15,660 square feet, and houses 240 pieces of support equipment used for maintenance and inspection. 

It is the first of its kind for the US Air Force in Europe and Africa.

The 495th Fighter Squadron held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 17, to mark the occasion.

The facility will serve as the base's main operating center for the F-35 support program.

Tech. Sgt. Todd Spencer, F-35 support section chief, said: "This facility, having the capabilities that it does, allows us to keep our equipment functional.

"This is going to expand the EMS mission and will allow us to facilitate far more maintenance, at a faster rate."