Live updates

Six American fighter jets arrive at RAF Lakenheath for training

RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

Six F35-A Lightning II fighter jets are now stationed at RAF Lakenheath for the next few weeks.

USAF has sent its supersonic stealth fighters all the way from Utah to Suffolk - they'll be deployed from here on European training missions.

They are the world's most advanced warplanes. They are capable of speeds of more than 1200 mph and each one is worth £100 million.

Six jets will be based at Lakenheath Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Honoured to welcome F-35A to UK for first time. F-35 deployment will not only influence how we operate here at Lakenheath but also how our nations operate together".

– Commander of 48th FW Colonel Evan Pettus
A briefing on the arrival of the jets. Credit: ITV News Anglia

USAF Gen. Tod Wolters describes F-35 as a 'game changer' with 'unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability'.

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Chloe Keedy.

US fighter jets begin training at RAF Lakenheath

F-35A aircraft at RAF Lakenheath Credit: 48th Fighter Wing

Some of the US Air Force's most advanced fighter jets have landed at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

The F-35A aircraft arrived from Utah as part of a training mission with the RAF and other NATO forces.

If all goes to plan, two squadrons will be based here from 2021.

“This is an incredible opportunity for USAFE Airmen and our NATO allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft,” said Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations."

F-35A aircraft at RAF Lakenheath Credit: 48th Fighter Wing

Advertisement

U.S airman found dead near Suffolk base

A US airman has been found dead close to RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 48th Fighter Wing has been found dead in Suffolk.

His body was discovered in off the base housing close to RAF Lakenheath.

The cause of death is currently under investigation.

Further information will be released after family notifications have been completed.

American warplanes fly night missions

F15 aircraft at Lakenheath Credit: ITV News Anglia

American warplanes based at Lakenheath in Suffolk will be taking part in night training missions between May 19th and May 22nd.

Aircraft will be in the air until midnight Credit: ITV News Anglia

Senior officers say the night operations are required to maintain aircrew proficiency and ensure pilots remain ready to meet future challenges.

USAF bases in the East face uncertain future as thousands of jobs are set to be lost

Over 1,000 staff are eligible for the first round of voluntary redundancies at RAF Lakenheath. Credit: PA

Thousands of American Air Force jobs at bases in our region could be lost as part of a sweeping round of budget cuts.

The USAF announced its intention to axe around 25,000 global jobs, last year.

A spokesman at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk confirmed that 1,600 staff there are eligible for the first round of voluntary redundancies.

Jobs at RAF Mildenhall could also be affected.

Advertisement

US war planes grounded

An F-15 at Lakenheath Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two squadrons of F-15 war planes at a US base in Suffolk could be grounded, due to defence cuts by the US Government.

Up to 75 jets based at RAF Lakenheath are likely to be stood down by the US Air Force for around five months. Officials at 48th Fighter Wing said there would be no change to staff at the base, which employs 4,500 airmen and around 2,000 civilians.

Christmas without Dad

A war veteran from Suffolk will miss out on spending Christmas with his wife and children - because of continued visa issues on both sides of the Atlantic.

Chad Carlson, who spent 11 years at RAF Lakeneath, was forced to return to America in the summer because of a massive backlog in visa applications.

Tired of waiting, his family decided to move out there instead...But have now been told it could be 8 months before they can go.