New F-35 Field Training Detachment facility at RAF Lakenheath

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Austin Salazar
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 48th Fighter Wing unveiled a new training facility Feb. 8, 2024, which is set to be used for the education and training of members who support the fifth generation aircraft of the Liberty Wing.

The new facility has been three years in the making and will be used primarily by the 372nd Training Squadron for the education and training of 2,500 members who support the F-35 mission.

The F-35 field training detachment facility is set to be used for formal training courses, directly supporting the F-35 platform as well as the formal training course Principle of Instruction that prepares and certifies members of multiple fighter squadrons to lead training unique to their organizations.

“The training equips and sharpens the skills of members who perform day in and day out 24/7,” said Master Sgt. David Cook, 372nd TS senior enlisted leader. “(This) forges maintenance capabilities and competence, ensuring the readiness of aircraft, equipment, and manpower to be ready to own the skies when called upon.”

The Egress System Maintenance Trainer lab is a replica application of a real canopy, ejection seat, cockpit and forward fuselage section of the F-35, Cook added. This is ideal for students and instructors for a perfect learning environment, sparing the use of an operational aircraft for training, which aids the aircraft availability for pilot sorties and training.

“We have performed training in temporary facilities and have been very resilient with available resources and assets to accomplish our mission,” said Cook. “With this facility we can be 100 percent capable of any training demand we are tasked with.”

The improved infrastructure will be able to house 13 instructors and can host up to 65 students a day at max training demand, ultimately increasing overall readiness in the region.

With these increased training capabilities, the Liberty Wing is better prepared to respond to the dynamic challenges in the Area of Responsibility while also bolstering its ability to provide combat ready forces in support of NATO.