Henry Brothers is set to begin renovation work at the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath station in preparation for the scheduled arrival of two F-35A Lightning II squadrons.

Work includes delivering critical upgrades to key buildings on RAF Lakenheath as part of an ongoing programme of improvements to the base.

The £4.296m contract was awarded by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and will involve the renovation of the US Visiting Forces (USVF) security forces facilities. The two new squadrons are expected to arrive at the base in 2021.

RAF Lakenheath will serve as the first permanent international site for the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-35s in Europe.

The upgrades will see the base accommodate around 1,200 additional personnel.

Construction work is expected to start in the coming weeks. The project will repair and upgrade the existing office building on the base to provide a Security Forces Operational Facility to the USVF.

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The facility will comprise a Day Armory, Guard Mount, and associated support, command and administration offices.

DIO project manager Ken Withers said: “This is a really important project, which will create a more efficient and effective security operation for the base.

“We are using highly advanced technology in the build and re-using existing infrastructure where possible. This means that the project is not only technically advanced but remains cost-effective with a reduced carbon footprint.”

The organisation expects to complete the building work by mid-2020. Henry Brothers will install a new lift to provide disabled access to each floor of the building.

USAF 48 Security Forces Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Kevin Eberhart said: “Improving the work environment for our military and civilian personnel is also about ensuring we are ready to execute the mission and meet future demands.

“This centralised facility will do just that and will help strengthen collaborative relationships within the squadron.”

Last month, DIO, 48th Fighter Wing and contractors Kier and VolkerFitzpatrick broke ground on F35 infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath.