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August 2, 2021

RAF completes air personnel rescue drills in Romania

During the drill, RAF Regiment Gunners, currently deployed in Romania, extracted downed aircrew from a simulated hostile area.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has completed aircrew rescue drills as part of a Joint Personnel Recovery exercise in Romania.

The military drill, called Exercise Titan Salvage, saw RAF Regiment Gunners from across the 121 Expeditionary Air Wing Force Protection detachment deploy conducted an extraction of down aircrew from a simulated hostile area.

The Gunners boarded two US Army Black Hawk helicopters from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta in Romania to rescue the downed personnel.

During the drill, overflying RAF Typhoons from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing Force provided top cover to the forces and conducted several low-level shows of force to deter simulated enemy moves.

The rescuing team also included an RAF paramedic to treat any injuries and a US Army Joint Terminal Attack Controller to direct the air movements.

RAF Regiment exercise conducting officer sergeant Jason O’Rourke said: “The exercise was extremely successful, working with the US Black Hawks has presented an excellent opportunity for the RAF Regiment to advance and learn new techniques, tactics and procedures for Joint Personnel Recovery.

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“It was great to see that the US aircrew have similar procedures to us. It builds great confidence that our two nations, alongside our other Nato allies, can work effectively together to complete Joint Personnel Recovery missions.”

The exercise primarily assessed the RAF Regiment Gunners’ capabilities against the Report, Locate, Support, Recover and Re-integrate phases of Joint Personnel Recovery.

The gunners were selected from regular and reserve Regiment Squadrons deployed in Romania to guard four RAF Typhoons stationed in the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.

These jets are in Romania until September 2021 for the Nato enhanced Air Policing mission.

Last month, RAF Typhoons completed a tactical refuelling exercise in Norway.

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