“When we deploy our fighter aircraft to the Baltic Allies, our RAF colleagues and we have the same mission under NATO Air Policing. Therefore, we want to exploit this training week to operate our fighters in a combined manner to further reinforce our interoperability,” said the Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Fiedler, Commander of the German Eurofighter detachment at Ämari in an interview.
The Alliance will certainly benefit from this trial to achieve synergies through Ally-to-Ally collaboration
Both Allies are also exploring how to save resources. “We are not only looking at the pilots and jets, but also the logistic and medical capabilities,” he added. “It is not necessary that both of us deploy these assets; instead we are making our capabilities available to each other and we are working towards the goal of eventually flying combined Air Policing sorties with pilots and jets from our two air forces,” he said.
The British-German Combined Air Policing project has so far gone through three phases. During a first step, in May 2019, when German Eurofighters handed the mission in Estonia over to their RAF colleagues, first combined missions were flown with the German in the lead. At the time, both Allies identified additional steps to deepen their cooperation.
Building on this foundation, the RAF then hosted a small 35-strong German detachment with two Eurofighter jets in Šiauliai, Lithuania, during the Baltic Air Policing mission in July 2020; the German detachment was integrated with the RAF Typhoons under the so-called plug & fight concept, again flying combined missions and further expanding the cooperation of the detachments.
The coming week marks the third step. An RAF detachment of two Typhoons from 3 Squadron will plugged into the German detachment to “fight” together. Both Allies will plan, execute and de-brief combined flying missions. Beyond merely flying together, the focus will be on logistic and technical procedures and processes. One question to be answered is: What are the tasks an RAF maintainer can executed on a German Eurofighter and of course vice versa? book.
The next step is already planned for 2021, when the RAF will again host a German Eurofighter plug & fight detachment. Eventually, the goal of this cooperation is to stand up a mixed British-German detachment to execute NATO’s Air Policing.
“The Alliance will certainly benefit from this trial to achieve synergies through Ally-to-Ally collaboration,” concluded Lieutenant Colonel Fiedler.