Lakenheath Strike Eagle crew rescued after ejecting over Libya

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THE two crew of an F-15E Strike Eagle based at RAF Lakenheath have been rescued after being forced to eject over Libya.

The USAF said today (Tuesday) that the ground attack fighter, which flew out of Aviano in Italy, developed ‘equipment malfunction’ over north east Libya last night.

A spokesman for the 48th Fighter Wing at Lakenheath said the incident was not due to enemy action and that the crew were unhurt. Their names will not be released until next of kin have been informed.

Until the incident the wing was refusing to say whether its aircraft were in action or had deployed to forward bases, but pictures had appeared on the USAF Europe website on Monday showing a Lakenheath F-15E ‘conducting pre-deployment procedures’.

The wing has about 50 of the ground attack version of the twin-tail F-15 supersonic jet. It also flies the air intercepter version of the aircraft, the F-15C Eagle, and has Pave Hawk helicopters designed to rescue downed crews behind enemy lines.