RAF Fighter jets and air-to-air refuelling aircraft have taken part in a mass air exercise with the United States Air Force Europe, bringing an end to the Bomber Task Force season.
Aircraft from across the UK participated in Exercise POINT BLANK, a quarterly joint exercise run by the United States Air Force; which includes aircraft based at RAF Lakenheath as well as participants flying across from the continental U.S.A.
Over 26 UK fighter aircraft including RAF Typhoons and F-35 lightning exercised with the United States Air Force F15E fighters, and B1 and B52 strategic bombers, demonstrating the UK’s ability to operate in a highly contested fighting environment with near-peer adversaries across a range of aircraft capabilities. The RAF also supplied air-to-air refuelling support using Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton and KC-135 from RAF Mildenhall in order to ensure both UK and US participants maximised their training potential, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to collective defence and interoperability.
"Bomber Task Force deployments are a great opportunity for us to further increase our interoperability with our U.S. allies.” Said Air Vice Marshal Duguid “These Exercises allow us to give our pilots valuable training experience with near-peer capabilities and strengthen our relationships across the NATO alliance. They demonstrate our continued combined commitment to the partnership and the defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area."
Exercise POINT BLANK brought a successful close to the UK’s participation in this year’s series of United States Bomber Task Force deployments to northern Europe which saw numerous air exercises and activities across the continent and in a variety of roles. The numerous interactions with other NATO partners and allies, as well as the training opportunities with the deployment of United States Air Force strategic bombers, is a continued demonstration of the UK’s commitment to continued collective defence.