A Royal Air Force Voyager has conducted further major Air-to-Air Refuelling exercises with the Qatar Emiri Air Force in the latest development of UK-Qatar joint air activities.
Flying from a Qatari airbase the RAF Brize Norton based Voyager took part in Exercise Soaring Falcon, conducting Air-to-Air Refuelling in a range of conditions with Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafale fast jets. This is the third exercise in a series of regular deployments of the Qatar Air-to-Air Refuelling Service: an agreement between the UK and Qatar to provide an Air-to-Air Refuelling service for the Qatar Emiri Air Force. A forthcoming exercise in mid-September will focus on night flying to build a 24-7 capability.
It continues to be a privilege to work alongside our Qatari allies and to see their experience developing with each exercise. Integrated activities such as these provide crucial opportunities to further develop bilateral Air-to-Air Refuelling expertise with our trusted partner and demonstrate our capability and reach when we work together.
Squadron Leader Harvey
10 Squadron Executive Officer
Exercise Soaring Falcon builds upon the UK’s strong defence partnership with Qatar, the only nation with whom the UK shares two Joint Squadrons: 11 Squadron Qatar Emiri Air Force, the joint Qatar Emiri Air Force-RAF Hawk training squadron at RAF Leeming, and 12 Squadron, the joint RAF-Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon squadron at RAF Coningsby. 12 Squadron will deploy to Qatar in September 2022 to support air security operations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The presence of the RAF Voyager also offered a valuable Defence Engagement opportunity, offering thirty-three Operation Inherent Resolve coalition personnel a rare chance to learn first-hand the key role of the Voyager aircraft and crew functions within the broader mission.
French personnel were honoured to be offered this opportunity and applaud the professionalism and dedication of the crew. Literally we say in French that “they still have stars in their eyes.
Lieutenant Colonel Ouedrago
French National Approval Authority