Personnel and aircraft of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) are set to deploy to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides to participate in Exercise Agile Pirate.

A total of 60 members, Typhoon fighter jet from RAF Lossiemouth and A400M from RAF Brize Norton will take part in the exercise.

The exercise will see the RAF personnel practice Typhoon fighter jets refuelling and rearming from a forward location.

It is designed to test ‘what is the minimum footprint of people and kit and processes required’ to successfully deploy and sustain aircraft to a temporary location within short notice.

Stornoway was selected for the exercise due to its relative remoteness.

RAF exercise planner Squadron leader Astle said: “The next few days will test our ability with the minimum footprint of people and kit to receive, debrief, re-arm, refuel and rebrief a Combat Air capability.

“In short bursts of activity, we will use an A400M to bring in kit and also directly refuel our in-situ fuel bowser to support the Typhoon – an activity delivered by 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron from RAF Wittering.  At the same time, six Squadron engineers will service and simulate re-arming the aircraft while the crews take advantage of our deployed comms capability to debrief and rebrief prior to re-launching.

“All of this under the watchful eye of a deployed team from 34 Squadron RAF Regiment and other security specialists providing an enclave protection and counter-intruder capability.”

A headquarters from RAF Marham-based 138 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) will command the deployment made up of specialists’ team in workforce preparation and admin, tactical refuelling teams, as well as armaments experts, logisticians, among others.

The exercise will contribute to the development and execution of the future Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept.

ACE is a new concept that seeks to allow RAF to operate from a greater number of locations. This capability enables increased flexibility and resilience.

A series of exercises will be conduction in support of ACE over the coming three years.