Relocation of RAF Lakenheath squadrons from Suffolk to Italy underway

An HH-60G Pave Hawk from 56th Rescue Squadron, based at RAF Lakenheath. Picture: US Air Force photo/

An HH-60G Pave Hawk from 56th Rescue Squadron, based at RAF Lakenheath. Picture: US Air Force photo/Master Sgt Eric Burks - Credit: Archant

The permanent relocation of two squadrons from RAF Lakenheath has begun.

The United States Air Force's 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons are being moved to Aviano Air Base, Italy, because of its more strategic and economically suited location.

Over the next few months the squadrons will prepare to move nearly 350 personnel, five HH-60G Pave Hawks and Guardian Angel Weapons Systems.

More personnel will begin the transition in February 2018 with the main move taking place between April and June.

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Lt Col Jose Cabrera, 57th RQS commander, said the squadrons will be closer to the theatre of operations.

'We are definitely going to miss RAF Lakenheath and all things the local community offers. On the other hand, we're looking forward to the Aviano move because it will improve our ability to respond to contingencies in Northern Africa and in the European continent.'

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