x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

UAE, UK conclude joint military training exercises

Major exercises between the UAE Air Force and the UK Royal Air Force concluded on Wednesday.

ABU DHABI // Aircraft from Great Britain’s Royal Air Force ended a major exercise with the UAE Air Force on Wednesday.

Advanced Typhoon fighter aircraft took part in the advanced tactical leadership course (ATLC), led by the UAE Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre, to ensure the UAE and its allies can operate together effectively to support security in the Arabian Gulf.

Flt Lt Jim Fordham, a Typhoon pilot with 3 (Fighter) Squadron, said the exercise helped the RAF to share knowledge with the UAE.

“This isn’t just an opportunity for us, the UK, to learn – we can also share our knowledge and lessons with our UAE allies,” he said. “While the Royal Navy is here we can also work on air-maritime integration. We’re moulding all this together to make sure we can all work together as a combined force.”

Six Typhoon FGR4 aircraft from 3 (F) Squadron participated in this year’s ATLC, along with a Sentry airborne early-warning aircraft from 8 Squadron. RAF pilots and ground crew worked alongside other allied air forces to tackle a series of scenarios, including terrorist attacks and air-to-air combat. Aerospace battle managers on board the Sentry provided tactical command and control of aircraft.

“The RAF has a superb working relationship with the UAE Air Force, and exercises like ATLC help reinforce our military and cultural ties,” said the UK air component commander, Air Cdre Philip Beach, the RAF’s senior operational commander in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

“As ever, our Emirati colleagues’ hospitality and training have been first class. This is a relationship that works well for Britain and the UAE and we’re looking forward to continuing to develop it in the interests of the whole region.”