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Found 1 result

  1. gary1701

    RAF Mildenhall photo thread

    Gents, I thought I would share the results of a photography trip over to RAF Mildenhall on the 28th which was bright and clear, although bitterly cold all day. Normally I would do the two days that the 48th FW fly at Lakenheath in between Christmas and New Year but this year they closed for the full holiday. Mildenhall was open but I wasn't expecting much to happen, and the Saturday the week before Christmas I went over for a morning and nothing moved in four hours. Expectations were low, but I was pleasantly surprised. Having got there around 9ish I could already hear engines running Southside, which would usually be a 100th tanker, so at least a tanker would taxi out, which was better than my previous trip. I was very surprised when the RC-135W below came down the taxiway, as they usually go out very early before dawn, and even then only once every couple of days. Nowadays they park whatever RC-135s are on TDY on stands that can't be seen from the fence, and I couldn't make out his call sign on the box before he came down so that was a pleasant surprise. ...and rolling, he didn't take a tanker with him so it looked like it was going to be a short one rather one of the 12 hour flights they often do. Coming off opposite end, a resident MC-130J, who wanted to do some radar and visual pattern work, but was frustrated because the Lakenheath radar kept going down, so after some visual circuits gave up and landed. KC-10 arriving from McGuire on the overnight regular US to Mildenhall, to Ramstein, back to Mildenhall and then US weekly run. The main gate and vehicle check building behind is where less than a week before somebody rammed through the gate got onto the airfield and was eventually apprehended down the other end on the Osprey ramp. He was lucky in that he was fired upon but escaped injury. He was sent to psychiatric care according to a friend of mine who works in that field. KC-10 down, this was a little different to the last one I saw land here that was 'bounced' down the runway in a cloud of tire smoke. Never seen a heavy put down like that before. Then I thought I would pop down the other end and see if there was any activity on the Osprey ramp, as sometimes early afternoon they do a quick air test, which they had done the day before. I was driving around the other end when I heard 'Knife 79' taxi to the Alpha ramp. Instant panic so I gunned it down the end of the lane which over looks the ramp and pad, with him already in the hover but managed to catch his departure. 'Knife 79' is their air test call sign so I knew he wouldn't be out long, and he finished with a fast(ish) run across the field and break. I thought that would probably be it, given it wasn't long to dusk when I saw that the RC-135 was inbound over Holland, five hours is a very short flight by their standards. So back down the other end in golden hour and he even put in a circuit which was nice. The 100th ARW have some smart new engine covers but I can't help think that if the move to Germany and closure of Mildenhall does ever go ahead as planned (they keep putting it off, now 2024 apparently), they'll have to get rid of these, although I suspect the unit would be re-designated if it did move to Ramstein. Not bad for a day over Christmas. Gary
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