One of the 81st TFW Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt Its displays its "lizard" finish.
The force of Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt IIs in the UK has been building up steadily since the bulk deliveries began at the beginning of 1979. Eventually the 81st TFW will have six squadrons deployed between Bentwaters, Woodbridge and the FOLs in Germany.
One of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing's Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt IIs in front of the latest style of hardened aircraft shelters at RAF Bentwaters.
The newest base to he occupied by the USAF in the UK is Fairford, where the 11th Strategic Group controls a squadron of Boeing KC-135A tankers. Like the Hercules at Mildenhall. the aircraft are provided in rotation by USA-based squadrons on TDY in the UK.
One squadron of Lockheed C-130 Hercules tactical transports is permanently based at Mildenhall under control of the 313 th TAG, aircraft and crews being rotated on 60-day TDY from their home bases in the USA. Note this aircraft is in the recently-adopted low-visibility markings, with the US 'star-and-bar' no more than a black outline on the fuselage.
At Upper Heyford, the 20th TF Wing maintains three squadrons of General Dynamics F-111E swing-wing fighters; the Wing will celebrate its 10th anniversary of service with this aircraft in the UK later this year. The second F-111 Wing in the UK, the 48th TFW, has been operating the type for less than three years.
Now among the oldest aircraft serving with USAF units permanently based in the UK, two General Dynamics F-111Es of the 55th TF Squadron are here seen joining up with a Victor tanker of the RAF's No 55 Squadron.
Only a single squadron of McDonnell Douglas Phantom IIs remains operational with the USAF in the UK, these being the RF-4Cs of the 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Alconbury.
Numerous versions of the original Boeing KC-135A tanker are either based in, or frequent visitors to, the United Kingdom. Illustrated is an RC-135V reconnaissance aircraft of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on TDY (temporary duty) at Mildenhall
The base at Alconbury is shared by the Northrop F-5E Tiger 11s of the 527th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor Squadron.
Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs of the 527th TFTAS at Alconbury.
For operation by the 67th ARRS at Woodbridge, eight Sikorsky HH-53H Super Jolly helicopters are being delivered during 1980. They differ from the HH-53C previously operated in having the Pave Low III sensors for night and all-weather operation.
Numerous versions of the original Boeing KC-135A tanker are either based in, or frequent visitors to, the United Kingdom. Illustrated is one of the EC-135Hs of the 10th Airborne Command and Control Squadron permanently based at Mildenhall.