Royal Air Force Typhoons Carry Out Agile Combat Employment In Poland

RAF Typhoons Poland
An RAF Typhoon parked next to a Polish F-16 at Poznan, Poland. (Image: NATO Aircom/Crown Copyright)

RAF Typhoons operating out of Poznan-Krzesiny AB, Poland, showcasing the NATO’s agility and ability to stay interoperable.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has showcased its Agile Combat Employment (ACE) capabilities by deploying Typhoon fighter jets to Poland for the U.S.-led exercise Astral Knight 24. This year’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise emphasizes the importance of NATO interoperability and collective defense.

From May 13 to 17, 2024, three RAF Typhoons temporarily relocated from their current base in Romania to the Polish 31st Air Base at Krzesiny. This deployment involved more than 50 personnel from the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, highlighting the RAF’s commitment to rapid, flexible operations. During the exercise, the Typhoons engaged in joint air operations with Polish Air Force F-16s, underscoring the collaborative spirit of the mission.

One of the RAF Typhoons deployed to Poznan (Image: NATO Aircom/Crown Copyright)

Supporting the deployment, an RAF A-400M transport aircraft ferried essential maintenance personnel and equipment to Krzesiny. This logistical support ensured the Typhoons remained mission-ready throughout their stay in Poland.

RAF A400M supporting the RAF Agile Combat Deployment at Krzesiny
(Image: NATO Aircom/Crown Copyright)

Flight Lieutenant Clarke, an RAF Typhoon pilot, emphasized the exercise’s focus on Defensive Counter Air (DCA) operations.

He said, as cited by a NATO news release:

“Our role in the exercise was conducting DCA, which stands for Defensive Counter Air, we were going up and acting in very much defensive posture against a simulated attack on European countries. There’s been a lot of nations contributing to this exercise, and we’ve all learned a lot from each other on how to move forward as part of NATO. It has been a very successful mission and the Polish Air Force have supported us fantastically. We’re very grateful for all their support throughout the exercise, and we look forward to working with them again in the near future.”

The RAF ground crew collaborated closely with their Polish counterparts, fostering mutual learning and strengthening ties. Squadron Leader Bernett, the RAF Detachment Commander for Astral Knight exercise, highlighted the benefits of this cooperation. “As a Polish speaker, I helped our detachment integrate better with the Polish Air Force, building stronger relations at all levels. Working with the Polish Air Force has been a very good experience for our personnel, they have modern aircraft similar to our own and are very keen to learn from us as we are from them”, he remarked.

RAF Typhoons Poland
RAF Typhoons break on arrival at Poznan (Image: NATO Aircom/Crown Copyright)

Clarke said that upon concluding the ACE deployment, the RAF Typhoons returned to Romania to continue their NATO enhanced Air Policing duties before their eventual return to RAF Lossiemouth at the end of June.

ACE deployments are designed to enhance operational resilience by enabling rapid dispersal and sustained combat power from both home bases and various locations. Key elements include agility, interoperability, survivability, continuity of operations, and readiness.

RAF Typhoons Poland
RAF Typhoon in a shelter at the Krzesiny AB in Poznan (Image: NATO Aircom/Crown Copyright)
About Jacek Siminski
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