NATO air forces took part in the RAF-led biannual exercise Cobra Warrior, designed to exercise participants in high-intensity large force tactical training.
Running from 5 to 23 September Cobra Warrior was controlled by directing staff from the Air and Space Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington.
The exercise saw air forces from the UK, Italy, Germany, and the United States continue to develop interoperability between the NATO members and fine-tune tactics, techniques and procedures.
The exercise is undertaken twice a year but due to COVID-19 restrictions this month’s event was the first since 2019 and will pave the way for larger exercises in future.
The German detachment of six ECR Tornado fighter aircraft, which bring Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability to the exercise, was led by Lieutenant Colonel Köllner.
Lieutenant Colonel Köllner said: “We are very pleased to participate again in this very demanding and well organised international exercise. It will be a chance to fly with a selection of the best Weapon Instructors from the participating countries. Sharing our experiences which will mutually increase our capabilities.”
The Italian contingent led by Major Setini flew six Eurofighter aircraft supported by a G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft.
Major Setini said: “This is one of the best exercises, not just in Europe, but in the world. It’s an opportunity to integrate with partner nations just to be ready and so we know each other in the best way possible. It’s a very challenging exercise and we are maximising the potential of our jets.”
The exercise was also complemented by United States Air Force F-16s, F-15s, F35As and HH-60Gs (combat search and rescue) along with NATO E-3A Sentry airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) and RAF Voyager air-to-air refueling aircraft.