Leeming Expeditionary Air Wing NATO ready
A RAF Expeditionary Air Wing has been declared ready to support NATO following a series of gruelling tests which culminated in Exercise Agile Eagle held at RAF Waddington in mid-November.
Formed from the headquarters of the main operating base 135 EAW at RAF Leeming is one of a number of deployable EAWs designed to better support the RAF on deployed operations of any type worldwide.
“The deployment of 135 EAW HQ to RAF Waddington provided the perfect opportunity to exercise and validate 135 EAW HQ prior to undertaking NATO Response Force 13 duties next year” said Gp Capt Tony Innes, RAF Leeming Station Commander.
“The JFAC EAW Training Team provided a realistic scenario, which ensured that the EAW HQ was able to interact with key enablers from the A4 (logistics), A6 (communications) and Force Protection communities.”
The exercise was the last of a series of four increasingly complex scenarios. On this occasion the RAF force sought to deliver humanitarian aid to a fictitious third world country situated in an unstable region.
Sqn Ldr Simon Reade of the EAW Training Team said: “This was a summation of their training and confirms the quality of the preparation that’s been devoted to the training of Leeming EAW over the past 12 months.”
The EAW TrainingTeam is led by Wg Cdr Mike Bracken: “The Eagle series of exercises has enabled Leeming EAW to demonstrate their ability to run a deployed operating base in austere conditions projecting air power as part of the NATO Response Force.”
“Agile Eagle has brought together all elements of the EAW and by exercising alongside Force Protection and enabling colleagues it has provided the hands on experience they will require if they are deployed by NATO.”
At the conclusion of the weeklong exercise 135 EAW was declared as on readiness to support the NRF for twelve months and Gp Capt Innes paid tribute to those who had made it happen. “During the exercise the EAW HQ performed superbly and the deployment also allowed the Station to test its ability to continue to support the plethora of operationally-focussed Lodger Units at RAF Leeming.”
Editor: Wg Cdr Dylan Eklund
Photographs: SAC Andy Wright
135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) from RAF Leeming depolyed to RAF Waddington on Exercise Agile Eagle 2.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2012