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March 27, 2019

USAF and British RAF take part in joint training exercise Point Blank

Personnel from the US and UK airforces have participated in the latest iteration of exercise Point Blank in Yorkshire, UK.

Personnel from the US and UK airforces have participated in the latest iteration of exercise Point Blank in Yorkshire, UK.

The exercise involved the US Air Force’s (USAF) 48th Fighter Wing and British Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel.

Point Blank is designed to increase tactical proficiency of the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and Ministry of Defence forces.

The latest exercise witnessed participation from F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons, RAF Typhoon, Hawk and F-35B Lightning jets.

48th Operations Group deputy commander lieutenant colonel James Cooper said: “Point Blank aims to simulate threats and scenarios our operators are likely to experience in combat.

“Flying alongside our RAF partners and coordinating with the joint terminal attack controllers on the ground does just that. The realism we achieve by replicating threats and partnering with our allies to achieve shared operational objectives ensures both of our nations are trained and ready to fly, fight and win together, whenever called upon.”

“Point Blank involved a training scenario developed by UK and US planners to align objectives for both forces.”

According to the USAF release, this is the first time UK ground controllers integrated with US aircraft during a large-force exercise.

The event builds on the existing readiness training partnership between the two countries.

Point Blank involved a training scenario developed by UK and US planners to align objectives for both forces.

48th Operations Support Squadron F-15E Pilot captain Andrew Lyons said: “The mission set is highly contested, close-air support with dynamic targeting involving a high-value individual.”

Lyons noted that this iteration involved a focus on contested or degraded operations as a component of the training as against dynamic and changing targeting scenarios in the past.

He further stated that the multi-role F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation stealth aircraft enabled pilots to take part in more complex and contested operations.

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