Global operations

The RAF is continuously engaged in a wide-range of operations and training exercises around the world and in space with our partners and allies.

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The RAF is continuously engaged in a wide-range of operations and training exercises around the world and in space with our partners and allies.

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Click on round markers for operation info.

Combatting cyber threats

UK and global

Ongoing

The RAF are committed to protecting the UK and ally territories against cyberspace attacks, safeguarding military IT networks from intrusions, and ensuring communications are secure.

Learn more about Cyberspace

Quick Reaction Alert (QRA)

UK and global

Ongoing

RAF’s ongoing commitment to protecting the skies of the UK and allies air space.

Learn more about QRA

Supporting our civilian partners

UK

Ongoing

The RAF provide aircraft, specialist equipment, and specialist knowledge to support rescue services in emergencies.

How has the RAF supported civilians in the past?

British Forces South Atlantic Islands

Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Ongoing

RAF provide air defence and transport support to operations in the South Atlantic, mostly from Ministry of Defence base Mount Pleasant Complex.

RAF Atlas refuelled for the first time over the South Atlantic

NATO Air Operations

Eastern Europe

Ongoing

RAF aircraft contribute to ongoing NATO Air Operations in NATO Air space, as part of the UK’s commitment to the NATO Alliance.

Read about NATO response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Operation SHADER

Iraq and Syria

2014 - ongoing

Operation SHADER is the RAF's ongoing commitment to combating Daesh in Iraq and Eastern Syria, as part of the international coalition against terrorism.

How does the RAF Combat Daesh?

COVID Aviation Task Force

UK

 2020 - ongoing

The RAF work alongside the NHS and Government departments against COVID-19, to support workers, provide specialist equipment, skills and knowledge, and deliver supplies across the UK.

4624 Squadron Reservists assist during Pandemic

UK Space Command

UK and global

2021 - ongoing

UK Space Command is the RAF’s ongoing commitment to making space safe, secure and sustainable for all generations, by protecting the UK and allies space domain against cyberspace attacks.

Learn more about UK Space Command

Exercise Point Blank

UK and North Sea

Quarterly

Exercise Point Blank is run by the United States Air Force to strengthen skills required to conduct high end war fighting operation.

Other NATO partner nations, like the Dutch, are also invited to participate.

Read about Typhoons deployed on Exercise Point Blank

NATO Air Policing Mission

Black Sea

Annually

The RAF deploy Typhoons as part of the NATO Air Enhanced Policing Missions that the UK participates in every year, to provide Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) against aircraft threats.

 

  • Operation AZOTIZE is over the Baltic region
  • Operation BILOXI is over the Black Sea region
Learn more about QRA

Exercise Soaring Falcon

Qatar

Annually

A series of regular deployment with the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) to build interoperability and develop capabilities.

The RAF shares two joint nation squadrons with Qatar:

Read about refuelling exercises

Exercise Virtual Flag

New Mexico

Annually

Exercise Virtual Flag sees the RAF and US partners train in Virtual Battlefield scenarios, at Kirtland Air Force Base, in New Mexico. Participants have been training together in a full spectrum of air, land, surface, space, and cyber warfighting regularly since 2009.

Read about Virtual Battlefield 2022

Exercise Austral Endurance

Antarctica

Annually

Exercise Austral Endurance is an annual exercise that supports the British Antarctic Survey with airdrop resupply missions to their Antarctic Bases.

Read about airdrop exercises

Exercise Pitch Black

Australia

Annually

The RAF deploy to Australia’s Northern Territory to participate in the largest annual exercise run by the Royal Australian Air Force, developing skills such as Air-to-Air refuelling and interoperability.

Read about aviators deployed on Exercise Pitch Black

Exercise Red Flag

Alaska, USA

Annually

Exercise Red Flag is a series of exercises run by the United States Air Force in Alaska. It is the largest high intensity air war fighting exercise in the world, with RAF aircraft training alongside the Australian Royal Air Force.

Read about aviators on Exercise Red Flag 2022

Exercise Magic Carpet

Oman

Annually

Exercise Magic Carpet is a two-week flying programme in the Middle East that strengthens the UK's partnership with the Omani Air Force.

RAF Typhoons and Voyagers deploy on multiple air-to-ground and air-to-air missions to practice scenarios and develop essential skills.

RAF complete Exercise Magic Carpet 2021

Exercise Cobra Warrior

UK

Biannual

This is the largest exercise run by the RAF, seeing the culmination of various Qualified Weapons Instructor courses and training in a High intensity simulated war fighting scenario with NATO Allies and partner nations.

Read about Exercise Cobra Warrior 2022

Exercise Bersama Lima

Malaysia

2023

The RAF trains with the our Commonwealth allies in Malaysia, to strengthen the interoperability and coordination of the five military powers (the UK, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore).

The RAF will next participate in 2023.

RAF complete Exercise Bersama Lima 2019

Exercise Arctic Challenge

Sweden

2023

The RAF in Europe’s largest air power exercise building collective security and defence skills, with aircraft and troops from the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, USA, and NATO partners.

The RAF will next participate in 2023.

RAF complete Exercise Arctic Challenge 2019
close

Combatting cyber threats

UK and global

Ongoing

The RAF are committed to protecting the UK and ally territories against cyberspace attacks, safeguarding military IT networks from intrusions, and ensuring communications are secure.

Learn more about Cyberspace
close

Quick Reaction Alert (QRA)

UK and global

Ongoing

RAF’s ongoing commitment to protecting the skies of the UK and allies air space.

Learn more about QRA
close

Supporting our civilian partners

UK

Ongoing

The RAF provide aircraft, specialist equipment, and specialist knowledge to support rescue services in emergencies.

How has the RAF supported civilians in the past?
close

British Forces South Atlantic Islands

Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Ongoing

RAF provide air defence and transport support to operations in the South Atlantic, mostly from Ministry of Defence base Mount Pleasant Complex.

RAF Atlas refuelled for the first time over the South Atlantic
close

NATO Air Operations

Eastern Europe

Ongoing

RAF aircraft contribute to ongoing NATO Air Operations in NATO Air space, as part of the UK’s commitment to the NATO Alliance.

Read about NATO response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis
close

Operation SHADER

Iraq and Syria

2014 - ongoing

Operation SHADER is the RAF's ongoing commitment to combating Daesh in Iraq and Eastern Syria, as part of the international coalition against terrorism.

How does the RAF Combat Daesh?
close

COVID Aviation Task Force

UK

 2020 - ongoing

The RAF work alongside the NHS and Government departments against COVID-19, to support workers, provide specialist equipment, skills and knowledge, and deliver supplies across the UK.

4624 Squadron Reservists assist during Pandemic
close

UK Space Command

UK and global

2021 - ongoing

UK Space Command is the RAF’s ongoing commitment to making space safe, secure and sustainable for all generations, by protecting the UK and allies space domain against cyberspace attacks.

Learn more about UK Space Command
close

Exercise Point Blank

UK and North Sea

Quarterly

Exercise Point Blank is run by the United States Air Force to strengthen skills required to conduct high end war fighting operation.

Other NATO partner nations, like the Dutch, are also invited to participate.

Read about Typhoons deployed on Exercise Point Blank
close

NATO Air Policing Mission

Black Sea

Annually

The RAF deploy Typhoons as part of the NATO Air Enhanced Policing Missions that the UK participates in every year, to provide Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) against aircraft threats.

 

  • Operation AZOTIZE is over the Baltic region
  • Operation BILOXI is over the Black Sea region
Learn more about QRA
close

Exercise Soaring Falcon

Qatar

Annually

A series of regular deployment with the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) to build interoperability and develop capabilities.

The RAF shares two joint nation squadrons with Qatar:

Read about refuelling exercises
close

Exercise Virtual Flag

New Mexico

Annually

Exercise Virtual Flag sees the RAF and US partners train in Virtual Battlefield scenarios, at Kirtland Air Force Base, in New Mexico. Participants have been training together in a full spectrum of air, land, surface, space, and cyber warfighting regularly since 2009.

Read about Virtual Battlefield 2022
close

Exercise Austral Endurance

Antarctica

Annually

Exercise Austral Endurance is an annual exercise that supports the British Antarctic Survey with airdrop resupply missions to their Antarctic Bases.

Read about airdrop exercises
close

Exercise Pitch Black

Australia

Annually

The RAF deploy to Australia’s Northern Territory to participate in the largest annual exercise run by the Royal Australian Air Force, developing skills such as Air-to-Air refuelling and interoperability.

Read about aviators deployed on Exercise Pitch Black
close

Exercise Red Flag

Alaska, USA

Annually

Exercise Red Flag is a series of exercises run by the United States Air Force in Alaska. It is the largest high intensity air war fighting exercise in the world, with RAF aircraft training alongside the Australian Royal Air Force.

Read about aviators on Exercise Red Flag 2022
close

Exercise Magic Carpet

Oman

Annually

Exercise Magic Carpet is a two-week flying programme in the Middle East that strengthens the UK's partnership with the Omani Air Force.

RAF Typhoons and Voyagers deploy on multiple air-to-ground and air-to-air missions to practice scenarios and develop essential skills.

RAF complete Exercise Magic Carpet 2021
close

Exercise Cobra Warrior

UK

Biannual

This is the largest exercise run by the RAF, seeing the culmination of various Qualified Weapons Instructor courses and training in a High intensity simulated war fighting scenario with NATO Allies and partner nations.

Read about Exercise Cobra Warrior 2022
close

Exercise Bersama Lima

Malaysia

2023

The RAF trains with the our Commonwealth allies in Malaysia, to strengthen the interoperability and coordination of the five military powers (the UK, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore).

The RAF will next participate in 2023.

RAF complete Exercise Bersama Lima 2019
close

Exercise Arctic Challenge

Sweden

2023

The RAF in Europe’s largest air power exercise building collective security and defence skills, with aircraft and troops from the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, USA, and NATO partners.

The RAF will next participate in 2023.

RAF complete Exercise Arctic Challenge 2019