Personnel from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) have participated in the US-led joint personnel recovery exercise Red Flag Rescue.

The three-week-long exercise was conducted at the US Air Force’s (USAF) Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona.

The latest iteration of the Red Flag Rescue exercise allowed British forces to enhance their interoperability.

It provided an opportunity to the RAF to exchange skills with USAF’s Para Rescue teams and rotary assets.

The RAF deployed a total of 18 personnel from its 2 Force Protection Wing and Air Land Integration Cell, along with two survival, evasion, resistance, and escape instructors.

The deployed participants operated as the UK Ground Extraction Force throughout the exercise.

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UK gunners and the USAF’s para-rescue specialists also carried out a wide range of joint personnel recovery drills.

UK exercise lead flight lieutenant Harrison said: “Being involved with a full planning cycle for a US-led Joint Personnel Recovery option was invaluable, not only for ground forces and enhancement of Joint Personnel Recovery skills and drills, but for planning staff and detachment commanders to better understand operational planning and liaison functions that are so key to the [delivery] of Joint Personnel Recovery.”

The participants also conducted training in several extraction techniques and advanced first aid.

Red Flag Rescue allowed the RAF participants to learn high tempo, realistic ground extraction training from the US specialists, as part of an international team.

A UK RAF 34 Squadron officer commanding said: “The Squadron built on pre-deployment training conducted with 28 Squadron Chinooks [Exercise KUKRI DAWN] to develop a niche capability while emphasising the joint nature of personnel recovery.”