RAF Regiment and US Army personnel have conducted a joint training day in Romania to share and better understand capabilities and tactics.
The RAF Regiment Gunners are currently deployed at the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, as part of Operation Biloxi. Their role is to provide Force Protection to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing which is currently conducting the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission.
The joint training day was organised with US Army personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, and 1st Armoured Brigade Combat Team who are also currently based at the the airbase. During the training, the Gunners and the US cavalrymen shared tactics and discussed weapon systems and common battlefield procedures.
As part of the joint training day with the US Army the RAF Gunners were also given a demonstration of the US Army’s Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and its capabilities.
“This is the first time I’ve worked with the British military and today has given me a greater understanding about their operating procedures. These training opportunities help us understand our different roles and learn how we can operate together in future operations. It certainly helps with NATO cohesion.”
US Sergeant Higgs
“A member of the US Army said to me ‘I was the first British person he had ever spoken to as it was his first posting out of the States’. To me, this is what NATO is all about; having never met someone from the UK, but instantly being able to communicate and build a rapport and bond with them, sharing military tactics and personal experiences.”
“It is so important for NATO allies to be able to work and train together. We have shared our experiences and been able to showcase the fantastic Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s capabilities. The ultimate goal is to ensure interoperability with all our NATO allies so that we can operate effectively in future operations.”
US Army Captain Peake
Nearly 30 RAF regular and reservist gunners brought together from across the RAF Force Protection Force make up part of the 180 strong RAF 121 Expeditionary Air Wing. 121 Expeditionary Air Wing is in Romania conducting Operation Biloxi, the name given for the UK’s mission to conduct NATO’s enhanced Air Policing operation in Romania’s air space. This is a commitment shared on a four month rotation between NATO allies.
The RAF Regiment detachment is responsible for carrying out Force Protection duties for 121 Expeditionary Air Wing; to secure, guard and defend the deployed RAF personnel, the four RAF Typhoons and other key RAF assets.