The US B1B Lancer bomber was conducting a long-range nonstop training sortie from the United States to mainland Europe and back. During the flight, Typhoons from 1(F) Squadron, escorted the US bomber over the North Sea, as it conducted Air to Air Refuelling prior to its return to the US across the Atlantic.
One of the Typhoon pilots flying the sortie was Major “NEWTL” Campbell, a US Marine Corps Exchange Officer with 1(F) Squadron. He said:
“It was fantastic for 1(F) Squadron to escort the B-1B Lancer through UK airspace after its mission in the Baltic region.
“It was particularly humbling for me to play my part in this mission, escorting an American bomber in an RAF Typhoon as it flew through NATO airspace.”
This training sortie was part of regular training activities by the RAF with the US Air Force and our NATO Allies. The B-1B Lancer is a part of the 28th Bomb Wing, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota and was refuelled by a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refuelling Wing, which is based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk.
The US sortie also included integration and interoperability training with Polish F-16s and MiG-29s joining the B1B to overfly Warsaw and then escort the bomber in an overflight of Latvia and Lithuania. The Polish fighters then handed over to Danish F-16s to overfly Bornholm Island, Denmark, before the RAF Typhoons picked up the US Bomber over the North Sea.
Group Captain Roger Elliott the Director of the Joint Force Air Component Headquarters that over saw the training sortie said:
“These flying missions illustrate what the Royal Air Force is all about; opportunities for the RAF to work together with our NATO Allies developing our understanding of each other’s operating procedures and capabilities. By operating alongside the USAF, we demonstrate our capability, flexibility, and our commitment to NATO.”
Group Captain Roger Elliott
Director of the Joint Force Air Component Headquarters