F-35B Lightning aircraft from 617 Squadron joined F16 and F-35 aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, F16s from the Royal Belgian Air Force and USAF F-15s from Lakenheath in a joint training exercise over the North Sea earlier this week.
The exercise gave invaluable interoperability training with our NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) partners and was an opportunity to enhance the collective defence partnership with the Dutch, Belgian and US Air Forces further.
A Voyager tanker from Brize Norton also took part supporting the exercise with the re-fuelling of each platform. This further demonstrated the partnership and sharing of capabilities with aircraft from other nations.
With 617 Squadron recently returning from their training exercise with HMS Queen Elizabeth this provided another opportunity for the pilots to gain broader experience as they build towards their airborne leadership qualifications.
Officer Commanding 617 Squadron, Commander Sparrow said “This training exercise was a great opportunity to work with our allies from the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA while enhancing 4th and 5th Gen interoperability and to really cement the great relationship with our NATO and JEF partners.” These multinational training exercises are extremely important and demonstrate the readiness to deploy proven capabilities to any potential threat alongside our partners from NATO and JEF.