The US Air Force’s (USAF) Liberty Wing has completed a dissimilar air combat training (DACT) at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath in the UK.
During the training, a series of large-force exercises were carried out with the fifth-generation aircraft and joint service partners.
The fifth-generation F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter aircraft assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, US, and the F/A-18 Super Hornet multirole combat jets assigned to Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) participated in the USAF’s DACT.
F/A-18 Super Hornets were deployed from the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75).
The dissimilar air combat training exercises have been designed to integrate different types of fourth-generation and fifth-generation fighter jets from various units to carry out air combat training in the same airspace.
DACT was conducted to strengthen professional relationships and enhance overall coordination with allies and partner militaries.
In addition to F-22 Raptors and F/A-18 Super Hornets, other participating aircraft included 48th Fighter Wing F-15C Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles, 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotankers, and a Nato E-3 Sentry.
These exercises demonstrate the ability of the US and Nato to deter threats, assure allies and employ combat airforces in a timely manner.
USAF 48th Operations Group commander colonel Jason Camilletti said: “In the near future we will see a steady increase in fifth-generation aircraft across Europe, whether it’s rotational aircraft stopping by for a few weeks like the F-22 Raptors, or permanently assigned F-35 Lightnings at RAF Marham and other future operating locations across Europe, to include here at Lakenheath.
“It is absolutely critical we learn how to best operate together in order to secure the sovereign skies above.”