Six Typhoon fighter jets operated from Glasgow Prestwick Airport recently as part of Exercise Agile Owl.

The exercise is part of the RAF’s aim to conduct Agile Combat Employment or ACE.

It is an approach to operations that requires RAF personnel and assets to be flexible and agile; operating in austere locations with minimal support, constantly moving and changing location to maintain the initiative, and outpace any action from an adversary whether in the UK or overseas alongside our NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force partners.

Speaking about another exercise testing out the same concept, Wing Commander Paul Hanson, was quoted as saying:

“Moving at pace presents its own challenges and we have pushed some assumptions to move even faster. Agile Combat Employment will change our current mindset and way of operating, and I think in many ways it will bring the very best out in our people; ready to deploy at shorter notice, taking part in more novel activity, and operating without the usual support structures of a main operating base. My experience on Exercise Agile Pirate 10 is that people are thriving on this level of responsibility.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim (@guest_823463)
1 month ago

It one of the most over looked factors on the lack of airbases argument in the UK. We have literally dozens over civilian airports that can be easily used for dispersal. It’s good to see UK forces conducting training like this again.

Typhoons short take off capability is often something over looked in aircraft comparisons but with the pervasiveness of cruise and ballistic missiles it’s unlikely that any aircraft that needs a long runway will be getting any where near a future combat zone.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece (@guest_823467)
1 month ago

RAF definition of ‘austere locations’ – only staying in 3 star hotels instead of 4 or 5 star hotels.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_823471)
1 month ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Crikey can The Pilot slum it out of 5*?

Obvs on base they have the same leaky roof and cold showers as everyone else….

John (@guest_823474)
1 month ago

It was something we were excellent at with Harrier. Now we are getting back into reality land. Would still like to see the poser F35 operate from a field setting. ATMO two or three guys with serious intent could take out most of them….

Jim (@guest_823476)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

It’s amazing how many F35B haters and carrier fanboys have suddenly taken to liking the F35B in the past 12 months for its short field operations. The F35A/C is simply an evolutionary capability, the F35B is a revolutionary capability that the military is only now waking up to. Trading off a couple g’s of manuverability and a few hundred miles of range for the ability to operate off a wide variety of naval decks and austere locations is a no brainer. In a war against China the F35A will be largely useless due to lack of airbases and the F35C… Read more »

DB (@guest_823554)
1 month ago

So my take away is we can spare SIX.

That’s great!

Alt airports? Any airport is getting malleted in a war Sino-Rus forces.

Given the lack of a Navy, we really need a stronger Air Force.

Frank62 (@guest_823678)
1 month ago

“Agile” has been used as a smokescreen for hollowing out actuals combat capabilities for decades, so it may fool most of the public, but not me. We’ve been dogmatically pursueing a policy of unilateral disarmament for decades as dangers have risen steadily. I bet Putin & Xi thank God for us running down our forces so nicely.
The Roman empire fell because the richest citizens got sweetheart tax breaks & didn’t want to bother funding the state that provided military security. It’s been the same here for too long.