The weekend saw a deployment of 18 F-15E Eagles from the 381st Fighter Sqd, 336th Fighter wing based at Mountain Home, Idaho, Bold Tigers transiting through Raf Lakenheath on their way to the sandpit, Jordan.
So it was early doors on the Sunday to see and photograph the second wave take to the skies and head East, and the weather was not bad for mid October.
As this was an American bank holiday weekend, Columbus Day, Raf Lakenheath was Notamed as being shut for the 3 days and only opened for operational requirement’s.
At 08-30 Hrs the 6 Aircraft, and 2 air spares started taxing out to runway 24,with the sun playing silly beggars, I still managed to photograph some of the aircraft in good light.
This was the second batch to make tracks Eastwards for their six month deployment.
Once the six aircraft got airborne it was time for them to catch up with their tanker aircraft to take on fuel for their journey, 15 Mins later with clear skies I was able to see the formation of Eagles tucked up behind the receiver, one of which was connected to the tail boom receiving its fuel for the journey, the formation at 27000 feet flew over the top of Lakenheath, not often you see that let alone photograph it, thanks to the clear skies.
Shortly after that it was the return of the two air spares, one being the Wing Commanders jet with nice highlighted tail markings. It wasn’t long before we saw the return of six F-15Es from the 494th fighter Sqd, Panthers returning from their stint out in the Middle East, was not expecting that, bonus time. So it was a formation brake then singles landing, all the aircraft supported nice nose art , and mission markings, as well as dirty with sand blast on some of them.The rest of the 494th will be returning back in waves of six during the rest of the week.