Exercise Agile Liberty 21-2

29/08/2021

Throughout 2021, RAF Fairford hosted 4 exercises involving assets based at RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath in Suffolk. The first one, Baltic Trident, was hosted in February, but, as the UK was in a lockdown due to COVID-19, I, like many others, made the sensible decision to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid a hefty police fine! I was lucky enough to see the KC-135s launching from my home 20 miles away anyway. So, with no photos worth sharing, we'll skip over the KC-135s at Fairford for Baltic Trident and go straight to September for Agile Liberty 21-2. I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos below, it's certainly far from my best work!

This exercise lasted just 4 days and involved 11 F-15Es from RAF Lakenheath. Whilst here, the aircraft flew sorties as they usually would from their home base. 

I was there for a couple of hours on the morning of Tuesday, August 24th, when no less than 6 launched for an early morning sortie. It was a beautifully clear summer's morning with runway 09 in use. I opted for 27 for the departures, which had its drawbacks as the aircraft were at quite an altitude by the time they reached us. Despite this and the sheer summer haze, I managed a few decent shots I think. It was nice to have a deployment at Fairford consisting of something other than bombers, even if they were only a few hours up the road by car. 

These exercises are known as ACE deployments and show the Air Forces' capability of deploying to 'any' airbase and successfully operating from there. It also proves the capability of the base to bed down deployed forces. Though I must admit, I personally don't understand what it proved by sending 12 jets a half-hour flight down the road for a week, not that I'm complaining, the more deployments Fairford gets the better in my opinion!

With credit to and help from both The Official Fighter Control Website and the RAF Fairford Movements Blog, here is the aircraft that were involved in the exercise. 

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0301 - 492nd Fighter Squadron 'Bolars' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0302 - 492nd Fighter Squadron 'Bolars' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0307 - 492nd Fighter Squadron 'Bolars' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0321 - 492nd Fighter Squadron 'Bolars' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 92-0364 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 98-0135 - 492nd Fighter Squadron 'Bolars' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 00-3001 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 00-3002 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 01-2000 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 01-2003 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 01-2004 - 494th Fighter Squadron 'Panthers' - 48th Fighter Wing