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29 July 2003. B. writes:

I don't know what's in the bunkers at Lakenheath, but the B-61 tactical nuclear weapons at the base at stored in 33 Weapons Storage and Security System (WS3) vaults, each of which is located inside a separate Hardened Aircraft Shelter, i.e., an armoured hangar, where the bomb would be loaded directly onto the F-15E that would carry it if the order ever came.

See for more information on the WS3 vaults.

This site ( has some information on the use of this system at Kleine Brogel in Belgium, including a picture of an F-16 standing beside a B-61 bomb in a vault in raised position inside the hangar.

28 July 2003
Source of aerial photos and maps:

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
American nuclear weapons in Britain

All United States nuclear weapons have now been withdrawn from Britain with the exception of a number of B61 free-fall bombs stored at Lakenheath in Suffolk.

Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath
"The Statue of Liberty Wing"

Facts About the 48th Fighter Wing

Mission Statement – To provide responsive air combat power, support and services to meet our Allies' and our nation's international objectives.

Location – Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, United Kingdom, is located 70 miles northeast of London and 25 miles from Cambridge. Nearly 5,000 U.S. military personnel and 2,000 American and British civilian employees are assigned to the base. RAF Lakenheath is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing.

Technology – As the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s only F-15 fighter wing, we bring unique air combat capabilities to the fight, such as the most advanced precision guided munitions (GBU-15 and AGM-130), the Rapid Targeting System for near real time, airborne re-targeting and the APG-70 radar, the world’s most advanced in range, tracking, ECCM and ID capability. We provide all-weather, day or night air superiority and air-to-ground precision combat capability and multi-staged improvement program avionics. The F-15E Strike Eagle is the world’s most capable air-to-ground, precision strike fighter, employing PGMs using Low Altitude Night Targeting and Infrared Navigation (LANTIRN) system technology. The F-15C Eagle is the world's premier air-to-air superiority fighter, capable of eliminating enemy air threats anywhere, anytime. When teamed together, the F-15E and F-15C provide an air combat capability never before seen in the history of airpower.

Mission – Historically, the 48th Fighter Wing has been the foundation of USAFE’s combat capability and remains so today. The Liberty Wing led the El Dorado Canyon raids into Libya in 1986 and was the first F-111 fighter unit to deploy to the Gulf during Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. We flew in the nation’s two most recent combat contingencies: Operation NORTHERN WATCH and Operation DELIBERATE FORCE. NATO and U.S. leaders have asserted that if America is needed in this region, the 48th Fighter Wing will be called out first.

Teamwork – The 48th Fighter Wing’s team is the synergy that makes the wing so effective as the Air Force’s largest, mission ready, F-15E/C team. From aircrew to combat support personnel with advanced communication systems, medical support and force protection, each member of the Liberty Wing understands that at its essence, their contributions represent combat capability.


US Nuclear

This area of RAF Lakenheath shows the double security fencing characteristic
of nuclear weapons storage areas.

The double-fenced area is located at upper left of this RAF Lakenheath photo.
Several earth-covered bunkers are visible.