RAF to carry out joint exercises with Ukraine

21 September 2020 (Last Updated September 21st, 2020 15:56)

The British Royal Air Force has announced that more than 200 British paratroopers entered Ukraine to carry out joint exercises.

RAF to carry out joint exercises with Ukraine
Around 250 paratroopers from RAF’s 16 Air Assault Brigade landed at Ternivsky training area for joint exercises. Credit: Royal Air Force.

The British Royal Air Force has announced that more than 200 British paratroopers entered Ukraine to carry out joint exercises.

The paratroopers jumped out of the Hercules transport aircraft for the first time.

The personnel from the 16 Air Assault Brigade left their base RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and were dropped into the Ternivsky training area from 600ft above the ground.

This marks the opening of the Exercise Joint Endeavour which will commence on 22 September. It will be the first multinational exercise in Ukraine after it was awarded the Nato Enhanced Opportunity Partner status.

This is expected to boost the relationship between the armed forces of both countries and provide experience to deploy from air to land to tackle threats.

Around 8,000 personnel, including those from the US and Canada, will aid Ukraine in working with Nato militaries, as well as share best practice and matching capabilities.

The UK has carried out training for more than 18,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the start of the UK’s Operation Orbital training mission in Ukraine five years ago.

Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group Air Vice-Marshal Al Gillespie said: “The flexibility and agility of the RAF transport fleet was on show again this week with the C-130J Hercules clearly demonstrating the reach and versatility for which it is well known.

“While there have been plaudits for our recent humanitarian support efforts across the globe, this week’s parachute insertion is a timely reminder of the unique role in we play in support of UK force projection.”

In 2018, the Ukrainian Air Force took part in special combat firing exercises using a wide range of anti-aircraft missile systems.