48th Fighter Wing Fact Sheet
Provide worldwide responsive combat airpower and support.
Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, is located 70 miles northeast of London and 25 miles northeast of Cambridge. The Liberty Wing consists of more than 4,500 active-duty military members, over 1,000 British and U.S. civilians and includes a geographically-separated unit at nearby RAF Feltwell. RAF Lakenheath is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing.
As the USAFE's only F-15 fighter wing, we bring unique air combat capabilities to the fight, such as the most advanced Joint Direct Attack Munitions employed by the F-15E. We provide all-weather, day-or-night air superiority, air-to-ground precision combat capability and multi-staged improvement program avionics. The F-15E Strike Eagle employs Precision Guided Missiles (PGMs) using the Low Altitude Night Targeting and Infrared Navigation (LANTIRN) system and Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod technology. The F-15C Eagle employs advanced technology including the AIM-9X munitions and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System providing the most advanced technology, capable of eliminating enemy air threats anytime, anywhere. When teamed together, the F-15E and F-15C provide air combat capability never before seen in the history of airpower.
Along with F-15s, the 48th Fighter Wing is host to HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters that can conduct day or night personnel recovery operations in hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support and rescue command and control. Today, Pave Hawks continue to deploy in support of operations around the globe. HH-60 crews have aided hundreds of American, coalition and foreign-national personnel by conducting personnel recovery and medical evacuations or MEDEVAC missions, under low visibility, low illumination conditions at all altitudes.
Historically, the 48th FW has been the foundation of USAFE's combat capability and remains so today. The Liberty Wing led the El Dorado Canyon raids into Libya in 1986 and was the first F-111 fighter unit to deploy to the Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Liberty Wing also anchored NATO forces during Operations Deliberate Force and Allied Force. Since September 11, 2001, the 48th FW has played a key role in antiterrorism operations, flying combat missions and providing combat support in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The 48th FW continues to provide responsive combat capability for our NATO allies and the U.S. military at every turn. In addition to supporting three combat-ready squadrons of F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft, the 48th FW houses the 56th Rescue Squadron's HH-60G combat search and rescue helicopters. The 56th RQS provides worldwide rapidly deployable combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing the helicopters and pararescue specialists. The Liberty Wing's F-15E Strike Eagles and HH-60G Pave Hawks were heavily involved in Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector in Libya during 2011.
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.K. postal address:
U.S. military postal address:
APO, AE 09461-5203