RAF Typhoons currently operating from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania conducting the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission, have conducted an exercise with US Air Force and the Italian Army Joint Terminal Attack Controllers.
Two RAF Typhoons from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, based near Constanta in Romania, carried out a Close Air Support training mission with NATO Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) teams from the US Air Force and the Italian Army.
JTACs are qualified military personnel who direct the actions of combat aircraft when they engaged in Close Air Support and other offensive air operations from a forward position. The exercise therefore allowed the US and Italian JTACs to practice their skills with another NATO ally by speaking directly to the RAF pilots in the cockpit and to guide them to their targets on the ground.
“Working with live aircraft allows me to experience being a part of the Close Air Support team. While simulators can be fantastic training, no one can replicate a pilot flying better than an actual pilot. Working with personnel from other nations gives me more of a worldwide perspective and helps build relations for future events. It also allows me to see the differences in techniques that other nations use, helping to improve our combined workflow during training and missions.”
Technical Sergeant Palmer
JTAC, US Air Force
The deployed RAF Typhoons are supported by a 180 strong RAF team in Romania, where they will be based until September 2021 on Operation Biloxi. This operation is the UK’s long planned contribution to NATO's defensive enhanced Air Policing mission.
The deployment is the third time the RAF has deployed to the country as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) of the Black Sea region. When not providing Quick Reaction Alert assistance to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft, the RAF Typhoon pilots are undergoing collective training missions with NATO allies in the air and on the ground to practice and assure their operating procedures.