Air force explains why military jets began training so early and why operations have increased over Peterborough

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RAF Lakenheath and the USAF have explained why military jets could be seen and heard in the sky over Peterborough earlier than normal.

Residents bombarded the Peterborough Telegraph with complaints yesterday, Thursday July 19, after they were woken to the sound of military jets conducting a training exercise over the city.

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron flies over Royal Air Force Lakenheath

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron flies over Royal Air Force Lakenheath

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While many readers accepted the sight and sounds of the planes which form a vital part of the UK's defence force, others queried why it was necessary to begin at the 'crack of dawn' and why the exercise could not be conducted over the North Sea.

Today, an RAF Lakenheath spokesperson explained: "It's unusual for aircraft from RAF Lakenheath to depart as early as they did yesterday.

"The 48th Fighter Wing is currently conducting "surge" training, or temporarily increasing our number of flights per day in order to allow our aircrew and ground support personnel to practise preparing aircraft and generating flights quickly.

"This critical training simulates how our Airmen operate when deployed to a combat environment in defence of the United States, the United Kingdom and our other NATO allies.

"This period of increased flying activity is scheduled to end next week, and we do not foresee a need in the short term to repeat that early start.

"We do recognise how our training programme can impact our neighbours in the local community, and we will continue efforts to minimise those effects."