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The US Air Force’s first squadron of F-35 fighters abroad will be called Valkyries

The United States Air Force will deploy its first squadron of F-35 Lightning II fighters outside the country of Valkyries. The 495th Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 48th Fighter Wing or 48th FW (Fighter Wing), and its headquarters are RAF (Royal Air Force) Lakenheath Air Base in the UK. The name of this first squadron of Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters overseas prevailed over other options such as archangels, sabers and swordsmen and sentries.

Valkyries embody the movement of the armed forces towards greater inclusion and also represent the aerial superiority of the 5th generation stealth fighter, according to Lt. Col. Ian McLaughlin, who will be the first commander of the reconstituted 495th Squadron or Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS). . In the USAF, the squadrons are commanded by a lieutenant colonel, in contrast to most NATO countries like Spain, where command is taken by a commander.

Its motto is: Bad Ipsa Nova (New Evils) in relation to the impact the new entity will have on the hypothetical enemies of the United States and NATO at the European level. The RAF Lakennheath Base is the main USAF facility in Europe (USAFE) as the 48th FW has three squadrons. 493rd Grim Reaper armed with the F-15C / D Eagle fighters, and the 492nd Madhatters and 494th Panthers operating the two-seat F-15E Strike Eagle ground attack.

The name Valkyries also pays homage to the warriors of Norse mythology, the voters of the dead who decide who lives or dies in battle. Like the Valkyries themselves, we will be crucial in determining the fate of our opponents on the battlefield, McLaughlin said. A name from Germanic mythology rather than Anglo-Saxon was chosen for a unit based in Great Britain. Perhaps he would inspire the film Apocalypse Now with its spectacular air raid scene to the musical rhythm of the Valkyries by the German composer Wagner.

The USAF plan calls for two squadrons of these conventional stealth and landing fighters to be stationed at FAF-Lakenheath over the next few years, which will mean the addition of 1,200 additional service members and approximately 54 F-35As.

Two hangars and an advanced flight simulator with six positions as well as other infrastructure for the training and maintenance of this fighter aircraft complex are currently being built. The first Lightning II aircraft is expected to arrive this fall. This makes RAF Lakenheath the first permanent US F-35 base in Europe. The aircraft was first deployed to the base in 2017, as part of the regular deployment of USAF units in Europe from the US. (Julio Maz Sanz)

Photo: An F-35A as it corresponds to the 495th TFS squadron. (USAF photo).

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