British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker A330 Voyager and crews have taken part in a multinational refuelling exercise at the Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands.
The two-week-long European Air Refuelling Training (EART) 19 event involved tankers and crews from several nations, including the UK, the US, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
EART is designed to improve interoperability between the participating nations. It allows tanker crews from the nations to become familiar with each other’s tactics and aircraft.
The RAF sent crews from 10 Squadron and 101 Squadron to participate in the event with the A330 Voyager.
Squadron leader Craig Gibson said: “The opportunity to train with our partner nations has been fantastic. By operating alongside Dutch, French or German tankers in one formation, we have been able to practise tactics and techniques that we can only do on an exercise like EART, refuelling French Mirage 2000 and German Typhoon fighters throughout the two weeks.”
Germany and The Netherlands respectively sent an A310 and a KDC-10, while France and the US were represented by their KC-135 aircraft.
During the exercise, the RAF Voyager tanker performed refuelling for a range of aircraft, including Typhoons from the German Luftwaffe.
The RAF noted that EART 19 allowed air and ground crews to train away from their home base.
The service also stated that multinational exercises allow airforces to become familiar with partner countries and their aircraft types.
Mission Systems officer flight sergeant Paul Riley said: “Fuel keeps the fast jets such as our Typhoons in the fight. A big part of what this exercise was about was understanding their needs in order to be so much more than an airborne petrol station.
“For example, we synchronise our plans with their missions so that once refuelled we have managed to place them in the best location for the next part of their sortie.”