Happy Saturday, FighterSweep Fans! As some of you may know, there is a multinational exercise currently underway at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton Roads, Virginia–home of the 1st Fighter Wing and Air Combat Command.
Based on an agreement signed between the air forces of the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, all three countries have converged at the home of the 1st Fighter Wing, and brought their very best to bear: the RAF with its Eurofighter Typhoon, the Armée de l’air with its Rafale, and of course the United States Air Force with the Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor.
Known as the “Trilateral Strategic Initiative,” the agreement is an important step to ensuring successful integration between the three countries during coalition air operations–such as those taking place in Syria with Operation Inherent Resolve, the combined effort to snuff out Daesh.
Not only does the exercise address the different architectures and interoperability considerations of the three nations, but it also stresses the importance of foreign 4th-Generation Fighters being able to successfully integrate with the Raptor–the world’s only operational 5th-Generation Fighter.
Providing “Red Air” for the exercise are F-15E Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina, as well as locally-based T-38 Talons from the 71st Fighter Training Squadron.
FighterSweep has been invited to come and observe elements of the exercise this coming week, so be sure to stay tuned for more in depth coverage!
(Featured Photo: A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, British Royal Air Force Typhoon, and French air force Rafale fly in formation as part of a Trilateral Exercise held at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Dec. 7, 2015. The exercise simulates a highly-contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment where U.S. and partner pilots and ground crews can test their readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman)