RAF fighter jets join US Air Force in training exercise over North Sea

Fighter jets took to the skies over the North Sea as the RAF joined the United States Air Force in a huge training exercise.

More than 50 aircraft flew in Exercise Point Blank on Thursday, including some from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

US bomber planes took part for the first time this year, with other aircraft joining from an American base in Italy and USAF’s Europe and Africa units.

A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress leads a formation of US F-15C Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles and Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s over the North Sea
A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress leads a formation of US F-15C Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles and Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s over the North Sea (Master Sgt Matthew Plew/US Air Force)

The annual operation is designed to hone tactics and ensure readiness.

Colonel Jason Camilletti, commander of USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, said: “What started as a small grassroots training initiative between the US and Royal air forces has now grown into an adaptable large-scale exercise capable of incorporating joint service and multinational assets across the spectrum of conflict.

“We stand in lock-step with our British and Nato counterparts, and are proud that our collective efforts ensure that we are always ready to own the skies.”

Aircraft in the exercise included F-15s, F-16s, F-35s, Typhoons, B-52s, and KC-135s.

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