2015-12-15 The Second Line of Defense team joined the media day held by the Air Combat Command on December 15, 2015 to learn more about the trilateral exercise, which featured the F-22s, working with Typhoons, and for the first time with Rafales.
We will have reportage on the discussions and panels during the day, but the core focus was on shaping approaches to operating together in high-end operations.
As we shift from the assumption of air dominance, to being able to ensure such dominance in contested areas, the three air forces worked together on shaping ways to provide for the capability, which can be delivered by an integrated five generation, enabled air force.
A key element of the exercise was enhancing the capabilities of the air fleet to work among the pilots horizontally and not just directed hierarchically from an AWACS, which is a key aspect of a fifth generation enabled force.
With Typhoons flying with Tornados in Syria, being able to work with F-22s in the Syrian airspace increasingly populated with Russian air and ground based air systems, made this exercise more than a hypothetical scenario event.
The Typhoons from XI squadron had been to Langley in 2013 for training with F-22s, but this was the first time for the Rafales.
As all three aircraft have now passed the 10-year operational mark, there is enough combat experience under their collective combat belts to take the next step, and not simply be the best aircraft in each individual air force, but to come together to craft a much more powerful coalition capability.
During the media day, our RAF colleagues provide us with a number of videos, which highlighted the event and specific aspects, from the British point of view.
In this overview video on the exercise provided by the Royal Air Force, the capability of the RAF Typhoon to be deployed as part of an expeditionary operation is highlighted.
The logisticians, pilots, and technicians moved to Langley and were able to generate high sortie rates for the exercise.
The expeditionary aspect is a key element and the RAF and the French Air Force worked closely together in transiting the Atlantic with a joint C-17 and 330MRTT support to the French Air Force to assist in their movement to the United States as part of the RAF effort as well.
For a recent article looking at the evolution of the RAF, see the following:
Credit Video: UK Ministry of Defence
Credit Photos: USAF