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17 February 2006 - Mildenhall

Noted sitting at RAF Mildenhall was C-17A 05-5145 from the 452nd AMW. Named 'The Spirit of Ronald Reagan', it arrived the previous evening as 'Reach 315'. This was the last C-17 to be delivered to the 452nd AMW and was dedicated to the late President Ronald Reagan at March AFB on 13 January 2006 by former first lady Nancy Reagan. It is also the first March-based aircraft to transit through Mildenhall.

Captured arriving on its way home after having the Hawkeye 2000 upgrade is Egyptian Air Force E-2C 163565 from 87 Squadron, based at Cairo Airport. As with others that have passed through from the USA Navy marks are applied. Pictures courtesy Jason French

16 February 2006 - Mildenhall

A rare visitor today - an EP-3E ARIES II, an electronic warfare and reconnaissance version of the P-3 Orion utilising state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment. There are twenty-four seating positions, of which nineteen are crew stations. The ARIES II is capable of a twelve-plus hour endurance and a 3,000 nautical mile range. The EP-3E typically carries three pilots, one navigator, three tactical evaluators, and one flight engineer. The remainder of the crew is composed of equipment operators, technicians, and mechanics.

The first EP-3 Aries I joined Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One in 1969, beginning the replacement programme for the Super Constellations, which was competed in 1974. Each Navy Maritime Patrol Aviation [MPS] Electronic Warfare (VQ) squadron has nine aircraft and deploys to sites in the Western Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans for approximately six months. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements


14 February 2006 - Lakenheath

Lunch-stopping for a couple of days were F-16s from the Danish Air Force. Pictures courtesy Dean West

13 February 2006 - Coningsby

NATO E-3As are quite a common sight at Waddington, but a rarer bird is the CT-49A (Boeing 707-307C) operated by the NAEW&CF. Delivered in March 2001, 19997 is one of four aircraft that are used to fly support and training missions for the E-3 fleet, based at Geilenkirchen. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

10 February 2006 - Mildenhall

E-6 164407 departed Mildenhall today after being on a deployment this past week. 164409 was previously here last September, and 164406 in December. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

7 February 2006 - Cranwell

Sporting 90th anniversary colours is King Air ZK453 of 45(R) Squadron. Five of the King Airs have now received military serials, enabling low-level training missions to be undertaken, while the other two will retain civilian markings so that some training can continue under a civilian syllabus. Picture courtesy Michael Hind

7 February 2006 - Cranwell

Saab Viggen AJSH37 373918/Ď57í of the Swedish Air Force safely touched down at 1315 Hours Zulu at RAF Cranwell, Lincs. Flown to the Lincolnshire base by Captain Jonas Haraldsson of 211 Squadron, F 21 Norrbotten Wing of the Swedish Air Force, this Saab Viggenís final landing came at the end of a one hour and twenty minute delivery flight across the North Sea from southern Sweden. Earlier in the morning the aircraft had flown from its home base at Luleå, Sweden and transited to southern Sweden (Luleå is home base ICAO ESPA Kallax Airport, which is located just south of the Arctic Circle).

The Saab Viggen AJSH37, which is an upgraded version of the SH37 maritime (radar) reconnaissance variant that operated in a strike and intercept role, has been placed on long-term loan with the Newark Air Museum from the National Swedish Defence Museum. Unfortunately the wartime runways at the Newark Air Museumís Winthorpe Airfield site were not considered to be in a suitable condition to allow the Viggen to land safely. This problem has been overcome thanks to the generous assistance of personnel at RAF Cranwell, who have provided suitable landing facilities and to staff from Serco who have provided technical assistance.

Shortly after touch-down a brief ceremony was held in the presence of officials from RAF Cranwell to hand over the aircraft to representatives from the museum. The Viggen will be de-fuelled and deactivated by a team of Swedish Air Force technicians who will be flown across from Sweden.

During the coming weeks the Viggen will be dismantled prior to making a short journey along the A17 road to its news home at the museumís Winthorpe Airfield site, just over the county border in Nottinghamshire. Once transported to Newark the Viggen will be reassembled and the museum will then host a formal handover ceremony to formally welcome this classic fighter into the care of the UKís largest volunteer managed aviation museum. Report and pictures Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


4 February 2006 - Mildenhall

This C-32B belongs (allegedly) to the US Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). Its serial is one of these pseudo-serials that various US transports carry from time to time - this particular machine is believed to be c/n 25494, which is officially serialled as 99-6143. For more see 31 October 2005. Pictures courtesy Tom McGhee and Matthew Clements

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