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Aug 2 2021

Royal Air Force and U.S. Air Force train aircrew recovery drills in Romania

CONSTANT, Romania - Earlier in July, RAF Regiment Gunners from the Royal Air Force Typhoon detachment currently deployed on NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, successfully completed downed NATO pilot rescue drills as part of a Joint Personnel Recovery exercise with US Army Black Hawk helicopters.

With top cover from overflying RAF Typhoons conducting Close Air Support and designated Air Recovery provided by two US Army UH-60 Black Hawks, RAF Regiment Gunners took part in a Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR) training exercise, to rescue isolated NATO pilots who were simulating surviving and evading capture.
Working with the US Black Hawks has presented an excellent opportunity for the RAF Regiment to advance and learn new techniques, tactics and procedures for Joint Personnel Recovery
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During the exercise, U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter with RAF Regiment personnel on board were deployed to locate and rescue downed aircrew, while RAF Typhoon aircraft conducted a show-of-presence mission above the rescue zone. Photos Crown Copyright

Exercise TITAN SALVAGE saw the RAF Force Protection Force elements work alongside US Army Black Hawks. Their mission: to deploy, find, and rescue downed US and UK isolated personnel in a simulated hostile area. As the designated Ground Extraction Force trained and ready to conduct the mission, the Gunners were tested against the 5 phases of JPR: Report, Locate, Support, Recover and Re-integrate.

They were supported in their mission by a RAF paramedic to treat any casualties and a US Army Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) who directed air movements from the ground. This included RAF Typhoons from 121 EAW that provided Close Air Support and conducted several low-level shows of force to deter any opportunistic enemy forces.

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In a joint air-land-integration training exercise, Royal Air force and US Army personnel worked together to train Joint Personnel Recovery drills in Romania. Photos Crown Copyright. 

"The exercise was extremely successful, working with the US Black Hawks has presented an excellent opportunity for the RAF Regiment to advance and learn new techniques, tactics and procedures for JPR," said the RAF Regiment Exercise Conducting Officer Sergeant O'Rourke. "It was great to see that the US aircrew have similar procedures to us; it builds great confidence that our two nations, alongside our other NATO allies can work effectively together to complete JPR missions," he added.

Four RAF Typhoons are guarded by RAF regular and reserve Regiment Gunners that are deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania until September 2021 as part of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, supporting NATO's enhanced Air Policing of Romania's air space.

Story by RAF enhanced Air Policing detachment Public Affairs Office

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