The skies around RAF Coningsby reverberated to a different sound this week when the station hosted U.S. Air Force jet fighters as part of a three-day exercise.
Through the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept the USAF is testing new ways of deploying its aircraft during potential crises. Aimed at increasing flexibility and improving combat effectiveness, the Mission Assurance Exercise saw a number of F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk operated from Coningsby alongside based RAF Typhoons.
“ACE means fighting on the move, with small units and small footprints,” said USAF Colonel Jason Camilletti, Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing. “Exercising elements of ACE enables U.S. forces in Europe to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity and support, ensuring Airmen and aircrews are postured to deliver lethal combat power across the spectrum of military operations.”
“I am delighted to welcome our colleagues from the United States Air Force to RAF Coningsby. Our two air forces share a long and distinguished history of co-operation, achievement, and joint sacrifice. For example, in World War Two US airman Lieutenant Carl Joseph Van-Horn sadly died flying from Coningsby on D-Day in 1944.
“The Typhoon squadrons based here train weekly with our colleagues from RAF Lakenheath over the North Sea, deepening our understanding of how our respective forces operate; honing the skills required to operate in coalitions around the world. Hosting the Strike Eagles here is part of that ongoing process that further strengthens the already close ties between our stations.”
Group Captain Matt Peterson
Station Commander, RAF Coningsby