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October 18, 2021

RAF Typhoons conduct PoC expeditionary combat air operations in Middle East

The operational mission was conducted in support of ‘Operation SHADER’.

The 903 Expeditionary Air Wing Typhoon Squadron based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri in Cyprus have conducted expeditionary combat air operations in the Middle East.

The operations were conducted as a proof of concept (PoC) from a temporary base earlier this month.

The deployment saw the RAF Typhoon FGR4 carry out an operational mission in support of ‘Operation SHADER’. This mission is aimed to further proving the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept.

RAF 903 Expeditionary Air Wing commanding officer wing commander Dutch Holland said: “Agile Combat Employment is about utilising our assets from RAF Akrotiri under 903 Expeditionary Air Wing to their maximum extent.

“In this example we have projected our forces, the RAF Typhoon FGR4, to a Forward Operating Base.  We have undertaken this deployment and next [time] we will go for longer and perhaps further than this one.”

According to RAF, ACE is an operational concept that is capable of operating from confined air bases to rapidly manoeuvre combat capability throughout a battlefield.

RAF 83 Expeditionary Air Group Commanding Officer air commodore Mark Farrell said: “Operation BLUE DRAGON successfully demonstrated the UK ability to respond dynamically, flexibly, and rapidly under the Agile Combat Employment concept whilst maintaining our commitment to our coalition partners.

“This operation is the first such deployment for 903 Expeditionary Air Wing and has enabled them to test how successful the aircraft and supporting personnel were able to operate in a new location and environment.”

Recently, RAF Typhoons deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of 903 EAW have took part in the Bright Star 21 exercise. For the first time in 20 years, RAF Typhoons flew over Egypt, alongside the Egyptian Air Force.

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