RAF News

RAF participate in US led Joint Personnel Recovery exercise

Image shows RAF Regiment with vehicle in the desert.

Exercise RED FLAG RESCUE is a US led Joint Personnel Recovery exercise.


Image shows a helicopter flying over the desert.

The UK’s deployment included 18 personnel from: 2 Force Protection Wing, and the Air Land Integration Cell, plus 2 SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) instructors.

Image shows a helicopter on the ground in the desert.

UK participation included operating as the UK Ground Extraction Force. The exercise was conducted over a 3-week period at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and provided an opportunity to participate in a major United States Air Force exercise to develop interoperability, exchange skills with United States Air Force specialist Para Rescue Teams and rotary assets.

Image shows RAF Regiment with rifle in the desert.

Over three weeks, the gunners trained alongside the United States Air Force’s Para-Rescue specialists – conducting several Joint Personnel Recovery rescue missions and undertaking training in various extraction techniques and advanced first aid. As the only non-US exercising personnel, the gunners impressed their counterparts with their level of tactical skill, learning new techniques from an incredibly experienced US contingent.

Image shows RAF Regiment with rifle, crouching by vehicle wheel.

The exercise proved a great opportunity to work alongside and learn from world-leading specialists, and to conduct high tempo, realistic ground extraction training as part of an international team.

Image shows a helicopter flying.

This was a great opportunity to conduct high tempo, realistic ground extraction training as part of an international team. The Squadron built on pre-deployment training conducted with 28 Squadron Chinooks (Exercise KUKRI DAWN) to develop a niche capability while emphasising the JOINT nature of Joint Personnel Recovery . It was an exciting training evolution and a great opportunity to participate in a fantastic overseas exercise.

Officer Commanding 34 Squadron

Image shows RAF Regiment boarding helicopter in the desert.

The exercise provided a great opportunity to develop TTPs and learn from real SMEs in this capability area. Being involved with the full planning cycle for a US led Joint Personnel Recovery option was invaluable, not only for ground forces and the enhancement of Joint Personnel Recovery skills and drills, but for the planning staff and detachment commanders to better understand the operational planning and liaison functions that are so key to the delivers of Joint Personnel Recovery.

Flight Lieutenant Harrison
UK Exercise Lead

Image shows aviators using communication equipment and pointing in the desert.