|RAF Typhoons exercise in Turkey|
|Tue, 21 July 2009 02:00|
RAF Typhoons recently went on exercise in Turkey for the first time as part of celebrations to mark the 60th year of the NATO alliance.
More than 120 pilots and personnel from RAF Coningsby together with Typhoon combat aircraft deployed to Konya in southern Turkey to lead the multi-national exercise. In addition to British and Turkish aircraft, Exercise Anatolian Eagle allowed aircraft from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to match each other in simulated air combat.
The exercise gave each nation's air crew and ground support personnel an opportunity to work alongside each other in a co-ordinated effort, and was designed to iron-out any operational procedures.
In addition, it allowed the RAF to show a very receptive audience of high-ranking Turkish military personnel and decision-makers, exactly what the Typhoon is capable of.
Wing Commander Jez Attridge, the officer commanding the Typhoon squadron, said:
"It is vitally important that we continue to train our crews and support personnel. Being able to do so in Turkey, alongside one of our key allies in this region is an added bonus for us."
Colonel Recep Unal of the Turkish Air Force, Operational Commander of the 3rd Main Jet Base in Konya, added:
"This exercise offers a great opportunity for us to practice air warfare alongside our allies.
"The capability of the Typhoon in its air-to-air role, is not as yet well known to us, but we look forward to building upon this exercise in the future in a proactive, effective and innovative manner."
Air Officer Commanding (No1 Group), Air Vice Marshal GJ Bagwell, said:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the RAF to show off not just the remarkable agility of the Typhoons, but also the seamless way it can be integrated with other allied aircraft.
"Such initiatives are very important for continued operations in Afghanistan.
"Turkey is NATO's second largest military force, after the United States, and has been absolutely pivotal to our ongoing international commitment to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, and our efforts to bring peace and long-term stability to this region. As such this exercise provides an invaluable opportunity for the RAF to train alongside one of our key NATO allies."
Exercise Anatolian Eagle culminated in nine days of simulated air combat with each nation taking it in turns to command the mission. The dynamic sorties test the reconnaissance, targeting, air-to-air refuelling and co-ordination skills of the pilots.