The Royal Air Force and French Air Force flew a combined mission involving two Voyager tankers refuelling four Armee de l’air Mirage 2000 fighters en route to Africa.
The RAF say here that the Long-Range Projection mission to Djibouti was a real-life demonstration of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force Air Component’s (CJEF(Air)) capability to project aircraft long distance at pace.
“The Voyager tankers based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire provided Air-to-Air refuelling for the French jets throughout their near 4000-mile journey to North East Africa to take part in their Exercise SHAHEEN.
The CJEF is a French-UK military force that was created following the signing of the Lancaster House Treaties by President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron in 2010, and which was re-affirmed by President Macron and Prime Minister May in 2018. The CJEF recently declared full Operational Capability and this mission was a timely demonstration of the regular cooperation between the RAF and the French Air & Space Force.”
Flight Lieutenant Rob Webb, Air Mobility Force HQ, said:
“Planning is undertaken by an Air-to-Air Refuelling Co-ordinator (AARC) who arranges and controls all aspects of the task. In this case, two RAF Voyagers in the dedicated Tanker role transferred 90,000 litres of fuel in support of the French Mission to North Africa, with one forward mounted in Greece to meet the transiting jets south of Crete for the final leg to Djibouti. Missions of this nature allow the RAF to practise and demonstrate close integration with Allied Nations to extend and project military effect in support of Operations.”