F-35B Lightning aircraft from 617 Squadron joined F-16 and F-35 aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, F-16s from the Royal Belgian Air Force and USAF F-15s from Lakenheath in a joint training exercise over the North Sea recently.

The RAF say that the exercise gave invaluable interoperability training with 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.”

Learn more from the Royal Air Force.

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George Royce

God, the f-35 is ugly. No matter what angle.

David Barry

but not on radar… I’ll get my coat.

George Royce

It’s like a dating site. They look like they have a slim profile online, but in person they’re a bit more rotund.

Dern

Looks are subjective…

George Royce

Good for you

Dern

*yawn* bitter little individual who seems incapable of dealing with subjective taste. Grow up.

George Royce

Ironic

TopBoy

I love her from every angle. Every inch the high tech bird of prey she should be 🙂

Herodotus

Commander Sparrow eh!!! Guesses as to his nickname?

Heidfirst

“A Voyager tanker from Brize Norton also took part supporting the exercise with the re-fuelling of each platform.”
& just how did it do that for those aircraft that require a boom e.g. F-15?

Lordtemplar

Maybe US tankers were also present, not to mention that the F15 has long legs, especially with external fuel tanks

Heidfirst

absolutely, but that is not what is stated above – it specifically says that it refuelled each platform. The only one that does probe & drogue is the RAF’s F-35B, all the others require boom which our Voyagers arent fitted with.

Cam

Maybe it means it took part refuelling each “UK Platform”

Heidfirst

that would render “This further demonstrated the partnership and sharing of capabilities with aircraft from other nations.” incorrect though …

Meirion X

I agree with you!
The RAF telling pokies to justify the air refuelling contact?

dan

U.S. tankers are always present. Nice to see the allies investing in their own tankers. Take some stress off of them.

Paul42

I was wondering about that…..

Lord Vader

Sure 617 sq was disbanded around 2014.