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    [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response]

    The first of a large number of Lockheed Martin F-35As that are being based in the United Kingdom as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA)’s 48th Fighter Wing, ‘BANSHEE02’ banks around the circuit at the end of an afternoon flight, turning onto final approach for Runway 24 at RAF Lakenheath.

    An aircraft of the recently-reactivated 495th Fighter Squadron named the ‘Valkyries’, and inscribed with the Latin motto ‘Mala Ipsa Nova’ – ‘Bad News Itself’ in English – 19-5474 was assembled at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant in Spring 2021, flew for the first time some months later in October, and arrived in the UK on delivery in December. Reactivated precisely 30 years after it’s designation as a Fighter Squadron, the 495th FS will operate the F-35A alongside the 492nd FS ‘Madhatters’ and 494th FS ‘Panthers’ with their McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagles from Lakenheath – with the 493rd FS ‘Grim Reapers’ expected to soon retire their F-15C/D Eagles and reform as a second squadron of F-35As under the 48th Fighter Wing – often known as the ‘Liberty Wing’ in the UK.

    Nikon D850, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4 ED VR