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Feb 7 2023

Fighter jets train air-to-air-refueling above Germany

RAMSTEIN, Germany – On February 6, 2023, an A-330 MRTT aircraft conducted air-to-air refueling training over Germany with eight Eurofighters providing training for both jet pilots and refueling crews.

Today we provided critical training to fighter pilots and air refueling operators allowing them to apply these in real-world missions

Taking off from the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) Cologne forward operating base at Germany’s Special Air Mission Wing, the A-330 flew to a training area over northern Germany where it conducted several refueling runs with eight German Air Force Eurofighters from tactical air wings 31 and 71.

The MMU A-330 MRTT aircraft on an apron at its forward operating base at Cologne. 
Photo by SHAPE/Tom Evans. 
In total eight German Eurofighters from two air wings conducted the AAR training. 
Photo by SHAPE/Tom Evans. 
Air-to-air refueling is a precision manoeuvre conducted in line with tactics, techniques and procedures both pilots and aircrew practice regularly. Photo by SHAPE/Tom Evans. 

“Today we provided critical training to German fighter pilots,” said Lieutenant Colonel N. who is a flight commander within the MMU. “The pilots of the ‘receivers’ practiced refueling tactics, techniques and procedures allowing them to apply these in real-world missions. It has also been an excellent opportunity for our own Air Refueling Operators to simulate this tactical environment and help keep their skills current,” he added. 

Coordinated air-to-air refueling is indispensable to ensure successful execution of operational missions also in the framework of the Deter and Defend mission and enhanced Vigilance Activities NATO Allies are conducting on the eastern flank. Both the EATC and the MMU have played a key role in planning, preparing, coordinating and facilitating this air-to-air refueling support in an Alliance and multinational context.

One element of these operation is the deployment of various nations’ fighter aircraft for air patrols in airspace of eastern member nations showing readiness and resolve to better protect Alliance territory and populations. Supported by air-to-air refueling, the fighter jets take off from their home bases or forward-deployed Allied aircraft carriers, transit to their mission areas the eastern flank, conduct Air Patrols and return to their take-off locations.

Monday’s event was organised by the MMU, the European Air Transport Command and Allied Air Command.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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