International participants taking part in the long planned biannual Exercise Cobra Warrior have begun arriving in the UK to prepare for the exercise that will run during September.
The first aircraft from the Italian Air Force has arrived at RAF Waddington where they will be based for the exercise. They will shortly be joined by German Air Force aircraft as the two nations complete their preparations for the exercise.
In addition to the German and Italian aircraft, United States Air Force F-16s which are normally based in Italy will be operating from their US base at RAF Lakenheath. These will join the F-15s and F35As of the 48th Fighter Wing that are based at RAF Lakenheath and the United States Air Force 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60Gs (Combat Search and Rescue) which will also be taking part from RAF Leeming.
Exercise Cobra Warrior is a biannual exercise run by the Royal Air Force and is designed to exercise participants in high intensity large force tactical training. The exercise will take place from the 5th to the 23rd of September and will be controlled by directing staff at RAF Waddington.
The Italian Air Force is very glad to once again take part in Exercise Cobra Warrior as a completion of our Weapons Instructor syllabus. This is the first time we are participating with such a big component. This fact testifies how important Cobra Warrior is to us. We are happy to train in such a challenging international exercise, that allows military personnel to exchange techniques and to improve procedures through cooperation in this multinational environment.
Italian Eurofighter Deployment Leader
We are very pleased to participate again in this very demanding and well organised international exercise. It will be a chance to fly with a selection of the best Weapon Instructors from the participating countries. Sharing our experiences which will mutually increase our capabilities.
Lieutenant Colonel Kollner
German Air Force
The German contingent will be flying six Tornados and the Italian contingent will be flying six Eurofighters, their version of the Typhoon, supported by a G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft. In addition, a NATO E-3A Sentry aircraft will operate from RAF Waddington to support the exercise.
Wing Commander Abbott, Officer Commanding 92 Squadron, runs the exercise with the RAF’s Air and Space Warfare Centre.
Exercise Cobra Warrior is the most important exercise that the RAF runs here in the UK and provides us with the opportunity to work with key NATO allies in a simulated contested and degraded operational environment that synchronises multi-domain effects. It is only by doing this that our aviators are able to learn and maintain the highly complex skills that are required to conduct such operations now and in the future as part of a coalition.
Wing Commander Abbott
Officer Commanding 92 Squadron
For the RAF one other key aspect of the exercise is that it gives the opportunity to complete the required training within the Mission Employment Phase for future RAF Weapons Instructors. The level of training combined with the variety of training partners helps to achieve the required standards within the Weapons School Criteria.