For the fighter pilots participating in the largest NATO exercise since 2002 – Trident Juncture 2015 – aerial refueling tracks with the codenames “STAR 26”, “Texaco”, “Horse” and “IBIZA” amongst others were key to the success of their mission – because NKAWTG! Providing ‘flying gas stations’ that enable the short-legged fighters to extend combat radius and loiter time is a service as vital as ever and heavily in demand. When requesting tanker support in Europe, be it for exercises or real-world operations, quite often the first unit to answer the call is the 100th Air Refueling Wing, the ‘Bloody Hundredth’ based at RAF Mildenhall in the UK. Kevin Jackson writes.
US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-22 Raptors were recently deployed to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and the European Reassurance Initiative. Jeroen van Veenendaal writes.
The Royal Air Force has been conducting a series of long-range training missions over the last couple of months, and many have been stopping over in Denver, Colorado. Paul Filmer writes.
On Friday 31 July, current and former Lynx aircrew gathered at AAC Middle Wallop to mark the retirement of the last Westland Lynx AH7s from service. Andy Aitchison writes for GAR.
The spate of wildfires in California has been keeping the aerial firefighting teams busy this summer. Rob Edgcumbe tracked down some of the helicopters being used to tackle the fires as they were at work.
Friday, 17 July 2015 saw the Indian Air Force arrive at RAF Coningsby, Lincs, for Exercise Indradhanush. Gordon Jones was there for GAR.
The East Wight aircraft restoration workshop set up by the Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society (BNAPS) has been a hive of activity as the restoration team made steady progress towards the goal of having the historic B-N Islander G-AVCN ready for “roll out” in time for the “Islander 50” celebration event in June 2015. Bob Wealthy guest reports for GAR.
On Tuesday 19 May 2015, an EA-6B Prowler from the US Navy was delivered to the Denver area for further delivery on to the Wings Over the Rockies Museum. Paul Filmer was there to see it.
On 11 May 2015 NAF 975, the second of a batch of four Alpha Jets bound for the Nigerian Air Force, arrived at Manchester direct from Reykjavik on part of a long ferry flight from the United States of America. John Higgins writes.
A potent symbol of American military power slipped into UK waters on 22 March 2015, when the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, CVN 71, anchored in Stokes Bay, off Gosport in Hampshire. Chris Wood writes for GAR.
On Thursday 26 March 2015 a formation of six Merlins flew from RAF Benson to RNAS Yeovilton, with flypasts along the way over the Salisbury Plain Training Area and the AgustaWestland plant in Yeovil. This event formally marked the return home to Yeovilton of 846 NAS from a three year stint based at RAF Benson.
This week saw another type of aircraft bow out of service with Britain’s Royal Air Force. Chris Wood looks back on the service of the BAe 125 as the RAF’s last few examples retire from No 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt.
As the only active Station to open its doors to the general public this year, RAF Cosford’s Air Show will fly the flag for the Royal Air Force in 2015. Gareth Stringer was at the event’s press launch to learn more.
Today, XI Squadron based at Royal Air Force Coningsby, proudly unveiled a new paint scheme to commemorate their 100th anniversary.
A Royal Air Force BAe125 aircraft has returned from operations for the final time, marking the end of an era for 32 (The Royal) Squadron which has operated the aircraft type for more than 40 years.
RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot XVIII, the latest in the series of twice-yearly events at the historic west London station, took place during the first week of March 2015. As ever, it was organised by the irrepressible Phil Dawe and his team, and raised money for the restoration of RAF Northolt’s Battle of Britain Operations Room. Chris Wood reports.
2015’s Red Flag series of exercises kicked off at Nellis AFB, Nevada on 26 January. Red Flag 15-1 is the first of four exercises planned for Fiscal Year 2015, which is Red Flag’s 40th anniversary year. Chris Wood and Rob Edgcumbe report from Nevada.
The Fleet Air Arm squadrons based at RNAS Yeovilton are now well into a period of rapid change and in the near future two of the Royal Navy’s core rotary types will be retired. Andy Aitchison guest reports for GAR.
The Colorado Air National Guard 140th Fighter Wing, based at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, has left its home to deploy to South Korea for approximately two months. Paul Filmer reports.
On 1 January 2015 the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) retired the Agusta Bell AB-412 SP SAR helicopters, followed on 15 January by the disbandment of 303 SAR Squadron after 55 years of service. Joan le Poole (Naviation.nl) guest reports for GAR and takes the opportunity to look back into the history of search and rescue operations in the RNLAF.