News story

RAF takes to the skies in the US

UK squadrons have joined United States and Australian military forces for intensive training in Nevada, USA.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 jets from 9 (Bomber) Squadron lined up before a flight over the Nevada desert [Picture: Sergeant Paul Oldfield RAF, Crown copyright]
Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 jets from 9 (Bomber) Squadron

Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft are taking part in Red Flag, the most complex air exercise of the year, which started at Nellis Air Force Base on Monday, 27 January.

The RAF squadrons have joined 150 aircraft from the US armed forces and Royal Australian Air Force for 3 weeks of intensive training in the skies above Nevada.

The vast expanse of the western United States allows for air exercises on a scale that isn’t possible in Europe and provides an unrivalled opportunity for RAF personnel to both test themselves and integrate operations with allies in the most challenging and realistic mock air battles anywhere in the world.

An RAF Typhoon
An RAF Typhoon from 6 Squadron is tended by ground crew at Nellis Air Force Base [Picture: Sergeant Paul Oldfield RAF, Crown copyright]

The RAF is a regular participant in Red Flag exercises, and the value of this training is reflected in the presence of RAF units in the current exercise, Red Flag 14-1.

Taking part in the exercise are Typhoon FGR4s from 6 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars, Tornado GR4s from 9 (Bomber) Squadron of RAF Marham, and Sentry AEW1 aircraft from 8 Squadron of RAF Waddington.

Nellis Air Force Base is one of the largest fighter bases in the world. Aircraft from Nellis operate on the Nevada test and training range, which offers more than 15,000 square miles of airspace and 4,700 square miles of restricted land.

A Tornado GR4 waits to take off
A Tornado GR4 waits to take off at Nellis Air Force Base [Picture: Sergeant Paul Oldfield RAF, Crown copyright]
Published 28 January 2014