RAF aircraft departs for EX Point blank over north sea 070421 CREDIT RAF.jpg
Exercises

RAF Takes Part In Exercise Point Blank Over North Sea

Royal Air Force aircraft are being joined by the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the US Air Force aircraft based in Europe.

RAF aircraft departs for EX Point blank over north sea 070421 CREDIT RAF.jpg

The Royal Air Force is taking part in a multinational large-scale exercise over the North Sea.

Together with aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the US Air Force (USAF) based in the UK and Europe, RAF aircraft and crew are taking part in Exercise Point Blank.

The exercise takes place regularly and it is usually a joint effort between RAF and USAF aircraft based in the UK, but this time it also sees participation from Dutch aircraft and US planes based in Italy and Germany.

Typhoons from 3(Fighter), XI(Fighter), 29 and 41 Squadrons, as well as Voyager tankers, are taking part in the exercise.

Squadron Leader Jim Fordham, the RAF's exercise coordinator, based at RAF Coningsby, said the exercise is "hugely valuable".

He said: "It allows us to practise integrating with fighters from the UK's closest ally and other NATO partners, going up against a range of simulated modern air and surface-air threats."

Squadron Leader Fordham also added that regular training together with allied forces also allowed them to generate "formidable allied capability".

UK RAF aircraft takes part in Ex Point Blank over North sea 070421 CREDIT RAF.jpg
RAF Typhoons and Voyagers are taking part in the exercise (Picture: RAF).

In total, more than 50 aircraft will be committed to exercise flying missions over the course of four days.

Exercise Point Blank is being controlled by the Tactical Command and Control teams in Number 1 Air Control Centre at RAF Scampton, a part of the UK's Air Surveillance and Control System, and on board an RAF E-3D Sentry from 8 Squadron RAF.

Since planning, briefing and debriefing for the exercise are taking place remotely, it can continue despite restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cover image: RAF.