The U.S. Air Force 48th Fighter Wing has decided that the 495th Fighter Squadron will be called the ‘Valkyries’.

The 48th Fighter Wing has selected a new nickname for the first U.S. Air Force overseas-based F-35A squadron. According to the U.S. Air Force:

“The wing solicited help from the public to name the unit. 700 different suggestions were originally submitted in the fall of 2020, and narrowed down to five finalists. In December, the 48 FW received thousands of votes from opinion polls, and the Liberty Wing is excited to announce that the 495th Fighter Squadron will be called the ‘Valkyries’, besting four other choices – Archangels, Sabres, Sentinels, and Swordsmen.

In Norse mythology, Valkyries are female figures who choose those that will live, or die, in battle. RAF Lakenheath is in the East of England, an area with extensive Viking and Norse history.  Additionally, the 495th Fighter Squadron motto: ‘Mala Ipsa Nova’ in Latin, means ‘Bad News Itself’. Both factors emphasise ‘Valkyries’ as an extremely suitable nickname for the U.K.-based unit.”

Col. Ian McLaughlin, the incoming 495 FS commander, was quoted by the U.S. Air Force as saying:

“Valkyries epitomises the force’s move toward more inclusivity and equally represents the fifth-generation stealth fighter’s air superiority. I am honoured to be the first commander of the initial U.S. Air Force overseas-based F-35A unit. Like the Valkyries themselves, we’ll be vital to determining the fate of our adversaries in the battlespace.”

The first F-35As are scheduled to arrive at RAF Lakenheath in late 2021.

The base was selected to host the first U.S. F-35A squadrons in Europe based on very close ties with the RAF, existing infrastructure, and combined training opportunities.

“The UK is a critical component in training and combat readiness for Air Forces in Europe due to its excellent airspace and F-35 program partnership”, say the U.S Air Force.

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Ian M.

Aren’t they a bunch of buxom warlike wenches?


Steady there Ian M.

Mike Saul

They choose who will live and who will die.


I think you may be right Ian ! Not long then before they get the nickname ‘the Norfolk Broads’!

Benjamin Rule

That’s going to go down extremely badly with the locals.

Mike Saul

Cue music


Wagner will be turning in his grave! Presumably, like the Grey Wolf, they hunt in packs and strike fear into the hearts of many. Yet more pretentious claptrap!


I know it has been done to death before but if the UK are intending to operate 4 F3B Sqns and then buy F35As for another couple of Sqns, then why not base the F35A Sqns at Lakenheath and operate alongside the Valkyries? Don’t need to build a new base.

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Rob

If more A squadrons are created, which would surprise me, some RAF stations still exist with much of the infrastructure for fast jets in place. Would still need new buildings and refurbs of course.

I’m unsure if room exists at Lakenheath or whether it is desirable having our assets next to the USVF.

Robert Blay

I think you could be correct Rob, other RAF vases would need a lot of infrastructure upgrades, and sat side by side with the Americans would be advantageous, and also very close to Marham.

Meirion X

Very unlikely Robert, the RAF would station F-35s with crews in Lakenheath, because it is like a mini USA there! In the shops there, you spend Dollars! It has it’s own American schools for the service personnel. And US Law.
It may have a RAF flag flying at the gate, but is a completely different world inside this base!

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

Lakenheath is effectively British territory leased by the USA!
A post-war agreement.

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
Robert Blay

I used to go to airshows at Mildenhall in the 90’s, they did the best burgers! 😀

Daniele Mandelli

Ah! The Mildenhall Air Fetes. I went to all of those too Robert. Sigh…Farnborough is naff.

Robert Blay

Mildenhall was the the best!, couldn’t beat a burger and a bud at 8 in the morning 😆 I still try and make it to RIAT each year.

Daniele Mandelli

Very apt.

But I though they only chose the bravest of those who had already perished.

Servants of Frigga and Odin, they ride Pegasus over the battlefields and collect warriors to feast in Odin’s Hall Valhalla and prepare for Ragnarok. The final battle!

John Stevens

Hi Daniele.. Sounds like you would enjoy the ‘Vikings’ series or the ‘Last Kingdom’. Good series to watch.

Daniele Mandelli

Ha! I might. I’m just interested in Norse mythology and the varied deities!


Some of them ride wolves and such like as well, bit of a eclectic lot Valkyries, very pan European from Ireland to Germany. All women though, and it’s not so much the bravest of the slain were being selected, it was a 50% split on that battlefield, so if they had quota left even your wimpy dark ages peasant with a pitchfork could have a crack at Valhalla. Also they were know to be pushers of mind altering substances…one job was for them to look out for the once fighters who were looking a bit shall we say “lacking in… Read more »

john melling

At least they get to use a bit of creativity and humour with naming their equipment.
And callsigns
Even the USAF and MC have mentioned the RAFs lack of it!


So will they all name the F35s after individual Valkyries, if they do I bets there’s a fight over who gets Gunnr as some of the names are right faf.


617 to be called “sorry to be a pain old chap, but in the future we may have to use some nasty things on you which, which will come with a woke warning from the BBC/MOD” Bugger painting that on the side of the airframes.


But will they have engines, seem issues with the P&W 135 engine in causing shortages.


Could the US Marine Corp decide it worth stationing a Squadron of F-35B’s in the UK – for training and deployment with UK forces. Would the MOD welcome such?


Lack of spares after Trumps war with China.

Peter S

Could get even worse. Forbes is reporting comments from the US air staff chief about the need for a low cost 4.5 gen strike fighter because of the cost and problems of the F35. The latter,he said, should be seen as a high end specialist, used in small numbers.
Interesting implications for the UK.

Andy a

Can’t see even the usa buying huge numbers the said. Want cheaper 4.5 gen plus just flown 6gen demonstrator


I’ve seen similar articles. Problems the F35 cost per hour is too high. On the engine the big mistake was cancelling the GE engine.


Yep will there tail emblem be a fluffy unicorn flying over a rainbow. Very Butch and tough. Ducky

Ian Skinner

will it be an all female squadron, crewed by pilots of skandinavian descent?


And Operation Valkyrie…..not sure Valkyrie is the best name for a European based Sqn.