United States Marine Corps F-35 jets from the Wake Island Avengers took flight from HMS Queen Elizabeth alongside embarked UK jets from 617 Sqn known as the Dambusters, to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest multinational exercise hosted by the UK.
The jets took part in air to air combat scenarios before taking a pit-stop with a Voyager to refuel. The ‘petrol-station in the sky’ provides support to the jets offering fuel and enabling them to stay in the air for longer.
Sgt Andy Emberton – Mission Systems Operator – was quoted as saying:
“The voyager is a very capable aircraft able to lift up to 109 tons of fuel and we’ve been up in Aberdeen along the east coast on air to air refuelling – this is the first time I’ve worked with jets coming off of the Queen Elizabeth Carrier.”
Exercise Joint Warrior sees more than 6,000 soldiers, 81 air assets, 28 ships and 130 ground troops from 11 nations coming together to improve their ability to respond to emerging threats.