Exercise Global Eagle saw over 200 RAF Police and RAF Regiment personnel from 2 FP Wg based at RAF Leeming join a similar number from Commando Parachutistes de l’Air 20 of the French Air Force at Caylus training area near Toulouse.
In a news release, the RAF say that they trained together for two weeks to prove the interoperability of the Force Protection (FP) in a multinational environment. Air FP scenarios included controlling air support, dealing with chemical and biological threats, detection of explosives and evacuation of captured persons.
Deputy Force Protection (FP) Force Commander, Group Captain Steve Horne said:
“Exercise Global Eagle has been extremely valuable for ourselves and our French partners, both in terms of interoperability and sharing best practice. We’ve proved that we can work together across a range of scenarios and it shows the very close co-operation we have with our French colleagues as we progress along a force protection road-map that has been in place for a number of years.
In addition, Exercise Global Eagle has given 2 FP Wing the opportunity to prove a new concept, that of a Force Protection Contingency Flight where RAF Regiment and RAF Police, including military working dogs, are trained to operate together in a contested environment and are held at high readiness. We’re very proud that the RAF is the main contributor to FP doctrine in NATO and our enduring relationship with partners ensures that Air FP provision is fit for the next generation of Air power.”
Wing Commander Morgan Williams, the commander of No 2 RAF FP Wing added:
“Exercise Global Eagle has given us an excellent opportunity to test our early-entry capabilities alongside our French colleagues. Deployed in defence of the Caylus Tactical Landing Zone, 2 FP Wg has exercised its RAF Regiment Gunners, RAF Police men and women, Military Working Dogs and Tactical Air Control Party alongside Paratroopers, CBRN specialists and Heli-Snipers of Commando Parachutist de l’Air 20 under the tactical command of the 2 FP Wg HQ.
In a contested scenario against a hybrid force, the exercise has demonstrated the value of interoperable Force Protection specialists in securing and defending Air Force assets. Should we be called upon, I have full confidence in our ability to work seamlessly alongside our French allies in securing the global reach of our respective Air Forces.”
The RAF has worked closely with the French Air Force in many areas of the world recently, including Mali in North Africa and in hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean in 2017.