Over 26 UK fighter aircraft including RAF Typhoons and F-35 Lightnings exercised with U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, F-15D Eagles, and B-1B and B-52 strategic bombers. The training event demonstrated NATO Allies' ability to operate in a highly contested fighting environment with near-peer adversaries across a range of aircraft capabilities.
Bomber Task Force deployments are a great opportunity for us to further increase our interoperability with our U.S. allies
"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, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group, RAF. "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," he added.
The long-range deployment of U.S. strategic bombers to meet other aircraft for a training event in international airspace near the United Kingdom underlined the precision and professionalism of Allied aircrews. Voyager aircraft provided air-to-air refuelling support from RAF Brize Norton and a U.S. KC-135 from RAF Mildenhall to ensure both UK and US participants maximised their training potential. The overall aircraft combination created a force package capable of executing supersonic and sub-sonic missions and underlined Allies interoperability.
"Combining unique bomber strike packages with Allied aircraft based the European theatre builds a force that could counter any threat to our collective safety and security," said General Jeff Harrigian, Allied Air Command Commander.
Bomber Task Force rotations during 2021 have brought all three of U.S. Strategic Command's strategic bomber assets to the European and African theater since the mission series began in 2018. The series demonstrates the U.S. Air Force's unique ability to rapidly deploy to unfamiliar airfields and integrate with NATO allies and coalition partners.