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May 27, 2021

RAF Typhoons conduct CAS training with USAF and Italian Army JTACs

The two RAF Typhoons participated in Close Air Support training with Nato JTAC teams from the USAF and Italian Army.

Two of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) 121 Expeditionary Air Wing’s Typhoons have conducted a training exercise with US Air Force (USAF) and the Italian Army Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) in Romania.

The Typhoons are currently operating out of Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania. They are responsible for supporting the Romanian Air Force (RoAF) in the protection of its airspace as part of Nato’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission until September.

During the exercise, two RAF Typhoons from 121 EAW carried out a Close Air Support (CAS) training mission with Nato JTAC teams from the USAF and the Italian Army.

JTACs are qualified military workforce who direct the actions of fighter jet when they ‘engaged in CAS and other offensive air operations from a forward position’.

According to RAF, the exercise allowed the USAF and Italian JTACs to practice their skills with another Nato ally ‘by speaking directly to the RAF pilots in the cockpit and to guide them to their targets on the ground’.

JTAC, US Air Force technical sergeant Palmer said: “Working with live aircraft allows me to experience being a part of the Close Air Support team. While simulators can be fantastic training, no one can replicate a pilot flying better than an actual pilot.

“Working with personnel from other nations gives me more of a worldwide perspective and helps build relations for future events. It also allows me to see the differences in techniques that other nations use, helping to improve our combined workflow during training and missions.”

The RAF stated that the latest deployment is the third time the RAF has deployed to the country as part of Nato’s eAP of the Black Sea region.

The RAF Typhoon pilots are taking ‘in the air and on the ground’ training missions with Nato allies when not providing Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assistance to the Romanian Air Force’s (RoAF) own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.

The deployed RAF Typhoons are supported by an RAF team of 180 members on Operation Biloxi, the UK’s long-planned contribution to Nato’s defensive eAP mission.

Earlier this month, RAF Typhoon fighter jets participated in a training exercise with the USAF B-52H bombers over Romania.

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