Military News

Monday, December 14, 2015

Strike Eagles vs. Typhoons: exercise brings aircraft together

by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/9/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England  -- Iron sharpens iron; the same could be said for fighter jet pilots seeking new ways to improve their skills to deliver decisive combat air power.

Fighter pilots from Royal Air Force Coningsby and the 494th Fighter Squadron partnered up for dissimilar air combat training, here, Dec. 7-8, 2015.

The training session consisted of mock air to air combat fights where in this case, both aircrafts went up against each other to test each other's and their own capabilities. The aircrafts had a certain amount of mock ammunition per separate engagement and each pilot would call out on the radio whenever they were "hit".

"It's great practice for both parties to go against a different aircraft," said a Typhoon evaluator pilot from the 41 Typhoon Test and Evaluation Squadron. "The F-15 gets an opportunity to fight a superior performing threat, and we get to fight against a very capable weapons system and highly maneuverable missile."

Training with RAF jet fighters not only sharpens combat skills, but strengthens host nation partnerships for future integration.

"They reached out to us for some dissimilar flights and it's something we definitely wanted to do," said Capt. Joseph DiCocco, 494th FS weapon systems officer. "We want to integrate more with our host nation partners, so when we saw the offer, we snatched it up."

Exercises like these accomplish multiple goals for both parties involved.

"It's a lot of fun and a lot of learning at the same time," DiCocco said. "Definitely beneficial for both sides seeing a different side of how to fight in the air. We would definitely be happy to do this again. "

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