480th Fighter Squadron Completes U.K. FTD

A pilot assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, walks to his aircraft in preparation for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Airmen from 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, worked alongside Airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, and British Allies during this bilateral training event to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional Allies and partners of the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to a safe and secure Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

A pilot assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, walks to his aircraft in preparation for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Airmen from 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, worked alongside Airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, and British Allies during this bilateral training event to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional Allies and partners of the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to a safe and secure Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

An F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and more than 260 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, completed a three-week flying training deployment July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

An F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and more than 260 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, completed a three-week flying training deployment July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

An F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and more than 260 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, completed a three-week flying training deployment July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master. Sgt. Eric Burks)

An F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and more than 260 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, completed a three-week flying training deployment July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master. Sgt. Eric Burks)

A pilot assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron gives the thumbs up after completion of a sortie with the 480th Fighter Squadron in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. This FTD not only met readiness requirements, but also provided an avenue to expand strategic and operational ties. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

A pilot assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron gives the thumbs up after completion of a sortie with the 480th Fighter Squadron in support of a flying training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 25. This FTD not only met readiness requirements, but also provided an avenue to expand strategic and operational ties. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

An F-15D Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Lakenheath with the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 25. The bilateral training event is designed to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional Allies and partners of the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to a safe and secure Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

An F-15D Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, launches for a sortie in support of a flying training exercise at Lakenheath with the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 25. The bilateral training event is designed to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional Allies and partners of the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to a safe and secure Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and more than 260 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, completed a three-week flying training deployment here July 31.

Airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing and those visiting from the 52nd Fighter Wing worked alongside British Allies during this bilateral training event to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and reassure our regional Allies and partners of the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to a safe and secure Europe.

"Our ability to operate as a seamless team is a critical component of what we do. It's the reason we're prepared to defend our nation and allies against any adversary," said Col. John Kent, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander. "We understand the different strengths every Airman and aircraft bring to the fight and use that knowledge to maximize our capabilities. This type of training is essential to interoperability and to our mission."

This FTD not only serves readiness requirements, but also provides an avenue to expand strategic and operational ties.

“We’re always on the lookout for valuable training opportunities,” said Lt. Col. Michael Richard, 480th Fighter Squadron commander. “The experience we’ve received here at RAF Lakenheath only makes us want to seek opportunities like this further down the road.”

These operations facilitate a number of training requirements for both aircrew and support personnel on the ground, and are necessary to ensure a ready and capable force.