RAF Typhoons Join Training Exercise With US And Italy

Two Royal Air Force Typhoons from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing carried out a Close Air Support training mission with NATO JTAC teams.

Royal Air Force Typhoons have been on exercise with the US Air Force (USAF) and the Italian Army Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).

Two Typhoons from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, currently operating from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania and conducting the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission, carried out a Close Air Support training mission with NATO JTAC teams from USAF and the Italian Army.

JTACs are qualified military personnel who direct the actions of combat aircraft when engaged in Close Air Support and other offensive air operations from a forward position.

The exercise was a chance for Italian and US JTACs to practice directing NATO allies which assist RAF pilots, by guiding them to their targets on the ground.

Technical Sergeant Sean Palmer, the USAF JTAC who led the exercise, explained why the training is so important.

An RAF Typhoon supporting the US and Italian JTAC exercise in Romania (Picture: RAF).

"Working with live aircraft allows me to experience being a part of the Close Air Support team," he said.

"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," he added.

The deployed RAF Typhoons are supported by a 180-man RAF team in Romania, on Operation Biloxi until September 2021.

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.