RAF and German Air Force Typhoon jets have been conducting joint flights ready to carry out the first integrated NATO Air Policing operational scrambles together in Estonia.
The RAF personnel in Estonia, form 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, with RAF Lossiemouth based IX(Bomber) Squadron operating the RAF Typhoons, that have deployed. The Expeditionary Air Wing will take over the leadership of the long-established NATO Air Policing mission in Estonia from April.
Today marks a great ‘first’ for our two Air Forces. We have been working together for some time and the level of cooperation has now reached a new level. It continues to be an absolute pleasure to work with our German allies on all aspects of our mission - from maintenance and operation of the jets to planning and logistic activities.
Wing Commander Maccoll
140 Expeditionary Air Wing Commander
To achieve this integration, the personnel from the two air forces have trained together to fully understand each other’s processes including maintenance and operating procedures. Both air forces fly the Eurofighter Typhoon, but there are national differences and for a joint detachment to fully integrate all aspects of the operations is a first. Now jets from each air force will fly together on live NATO controlled intercepts.
The German Air Force detachment is from the 71 Tactical Air Wing ‘Richthofen’ and once they hand over the lead of the NATO Air Policing Mission in April, they will remain in Estonia till the end of April continuing to conduct integrated scrambles before returning to Germany.