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Royal Air Force personnel exercise Rivet Joint with international partners

Image shows a Rivet Joint aircraft flying.
Photo credit: United States Air Force

A United States Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft has carried out a mission with a crew made up of Royal Air Force, United States Air Force (USAF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel for the first time.

The mission flown by an aircraft of the USAF 55th Wing, from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was taking part in Exercise Resolute Hunter.  This exercise was a joint service exercise sponsored by Air Combat Command and Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Centre at the US Naval Air Station Fallon Range Training Complex located in the high desert of northern Nevada near Reno.

Image shows military personnel standing in front of a Rivet Joint aircraft.
Photo credit: United States Air Force

The exercise sortie was designed to promote joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance interoperability between the three Air Forces.  This first ever mission also highlights the expanding manned ISR partnership between the three allied nations as the three services develop common insights and operational tactics.

The exercise builds upon the commonality of the USAF/RAAF/RAF manned ISR aircraft and technology, together with reviewing existing processes to enable closer integration to ensure the three services can work together against near-peer competitors.

Images shows military personnel stood in front of a Rivet Joint aircraft.
Photo credit: United States Air Force

The sortie is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts between the three Air Forces, which paves the way for greater co-operation and mission integration in the future. In addition, this further strengthens the developing ties between the RAF and RAAF who are working closely on the E-7 Wedgetail capability which will enter service with the RAF in the future.

“This was a ground-breaking RC-135W Rivet Joint mission, co-crewed by RAF, USAF and RAAF personnel, paving the way for even greater AUKUS interoperability and cooperation in the future.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff