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.