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Typhoon pilots and engineers to train with US Air Force colleagues

By Boston Target  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

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ROYAL Air Force pilots and engineers from RAF Coningsby have arrived in the United States to begin training exercises with their US Air Force colleagues.

Approximately 200 personnel from XI Squadron have joined forces with the US Air Force 1st Fighter Wing in the first joint training exercise featuring the Typhoon FGR4 and the F-22 Raptor, at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Col Kevin Robbins, 1st Fighter Wing commander, said: "The exercise gives us valuable interaction with our allies as well as a great opportunity to integrate with the Typhoon.

"It's important for us as coalition partners to have that level of familiarity to make us more tactically proficient should the time ever come to utilize this training."

The two units will participate in Exercise Western Zephyr, testing the capabilities and tactics of both the Raptor and Typhoon.

Squadron Leader Andy Chisholm, XI Squadron's Executive Officer, said: "The Raptor is a fifth generation low observable aircraft and we need to operate with them to enhance our joint capability.

"It's a mutually beneficial relationship.

"You have to practice, and practice makes perfect."

The Typhoon pilots flew their aircraft from Coningsby to Langley via the Azores and Bermuda. After Exercise Western Zephyr the squadron will move on to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to take part in the prestigious Red Flag exercise.

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