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May 20 2024

Royal Air Force supports exercise with Agile Combat Employment to Poland

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Royal Air Force Typhoons currently deployed to Romania on enhanced Air Policing have conducted an Agile Combat Employment (ACE) to Poland in support of US-led exercise Astral Knight 24, an Integrated Air & Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise. 

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Enabling the short-term redeployment of three Typhoon fighter jets from May 13 to 17, more than 50 serving personnel from the Typhoon detachment flew out from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base to the Polish 31st Air Base at Krzesiny, Poland. During their ACE deployment  the Typhoons performing joint air operations with the Polish Air Force F-16s.

An RAF A-400M transported  maintenance personnel and material to the forward location at Krzesiny Air Base, Poland, to make the RAF  mission-ready during the ACE deployment. Photo Crown Copyright.

An RAF Typhoon sits in a hangar at 1st Polish Air Base in Krzesiny during a four-day Agile Combat Employment in support of multinational U.S.-led exercise Astral Knight. Photo Crown Copyright.

RAF ground crew worked with Polish maintainers supporting the Typhoons. "We've all learned a lot from each other on how to move forward as part of NATO,” said a Typhoon pilot. Photo Crown Copyright.

After accomplishing the ACE deployment in Poland, the RAF Typhoons went back to Romania to continue NATO enhanced Air Policing from Romania. Photo Crown Copyright.

“Our role in the exercise was conducting DCA, which stands for Defensive Counter Air, we were going up and acting in very much defensive posture against a simulated attack on European countries,” said Flight Lieutenant Clarke, RAF Typhoon Pilot. “There's been a lot of nations contributing to this exercise, and we've all learned a lot from each other on how to move forward as part of NATO,” he said adding that “it has been a very successful mission and the Polish Air Force have supported us fantastically. We're very grateful for all their support throughout the exercise, and we look forward to working with them again in the near future.” 

RAF ground personnel have been working closely with the Polish Air Force Maintenance Unit. “As a Polish speaker it's given me the opportunity to help the detachment integrate better with the Polish Air Force, building better relations at all levels,” said Squadron Leader Bernett, the RAF Ex Astral Knight Detachment Commander. “Working with the Polish Air Force has been a very good experience for our personnel, they have modern aircraft similar to our own and are very keen to learn from us as we are from them,” he added.

“After accomplishing the ACE deployment here, the RAF Typhoons went back to Romania to continue carrying out NATO enhanced Air Policing from Romania before we go back to RAF Lossiemouth at the end of June,” said Flight Lieutenant Clarke.

ACE deployments is an operational scheme of manoeuvres designed to increase resiliency while generating combat power from home bases as well as geographically dispersed locations. Key elements of an ACE are agility, interoperability, survivability, continuity of operations and operational readiness.

Embedded in U.S.-led Large-Scale Global Exercise (LSGE), Astral Knight 24 was a multi-regional IAMD exercise, and the UK contingent worked alongside U.S., Lithuanian, Greek, Danish and Polish participants and continued to strengthen links with the Baltic States.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input provided by the Royal Air Force

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