This week saw the conclusion of Exercise Cobra Warrior at RAF Waddington. A multi-national tactical training event, Exercise Cobra Warrior saw affiliated forces aiming to develop the tactical skills of their aircrew and supporting elements with a Composite Air Operation.
The exercise rehearsed a range of complex scenarios focusing on developing tactics and strategies in order to counter a near peer adversary including crisis and conflict situations that could be encountered in operations. The UK forces trained alongside personnel from Germany, Israel and Italy. Several Israeli F-15s flew together with UK Typhoons, Italian and German Eurofighters for the first time in the RAFs 101-year history.
RAF Waddington operated as a main operating base for all aircraft involved which included ISTAR and refuelling assets as well as the fighter jets. Spadeadam training area hosted the majority of the tactical elements. Other bases participating included RAF Boulmer, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Coningsby, RAF Fairford, RAF Leeming, RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Marham, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Odiham.
“The RAF welcomes the participation of our Air Force colleagues from other nations and we welcome the opportunity to train alongside all of the participating nations’ forces on this challenging exercise,” said the Exercise Director, Group Captain Robert Barrett.
Squadron Leader Mike Child, 29 Squadron, OC Training, said: "We bring tactics into it, we look at how other nations - with their capabilities - will fight, and we take the shared lessons we get in terms of mistakes that we all make, and take them forward so we that we don't repeat those mistakes in future."
"We see how the operational planning process is set up because we set up a little bit different. We see how people are executing in the air - what we can learn out of their drills and the way they are flying. Of course, everything together and speaking to other guys, it's a huge lesson learned," Brigadier General Annon Ein Dar, Israeli Air Force.