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AIRCRAFT FROM FOUR nations began arriving at RAF St Mawgan for Exercise Resolute Response on April 27. The maritime exercise involved aircraft from Germany (Tornados from MFG.2), Norway (P-3N and P-3Cs from 333 Skv), USA (an EC-24A from FEWSG, plus P-3Bs from VP-64 and VP-66) and the UK The exercise finished on May 15.

Other aircraft taking part in Britain included eight F-16As from the 169th FS/Illinois ANG, which arrived at RAF Fairford on April 30 accompanied by four KC-135Es from 108th AREFS/Illinois ANG. For many, this was the last chance to see the unit operating its F-16s, as it is expected to convert to the C-130H in mid-1995. Six of the aircraft left for home on May 15, the other two were expected to follow shortly afterwards.

Aircraft from the Belgian (F-16s), French (Mirage 2000s), and Spanish air forces (EF-18A) were at RAF Waddington in late April using the ACMI Range in the North Sea. The Spanish were of particular interest, having brought with them five EF-18A Hornets. The departure day (April 29) was extremely busy and made even more hectic by French Air Traffic Controllers who wouldn’t give slot-times to the Spanish or the French. As a result, the Hornets were delayed for two hours, but it was the French aircraft that came off worst; having run their engines for at least an hour it was decided to give up for lunch; they eventually departed later that afternoon. Transports seen in support that day were: Belgian Air Force C-130H CH-08 20 Sqn, HS 748 CS-01 21 Sqn; French Air Force C-160F F95/’61-ZM’, F159/’61-ZY’ both ET.61; Spanish Air Force KC-130H TK10-7/’31 -521 Ala 31. The next deployment here should be the Swiss Air Force from June 3 until June 24. They expect to bring with them six Mirage IIIs and ten F-5s.

On the same day eight 1st FW F-15Cs arrived at RAF Lakenheath direct from Langley AFB, Virginia. They stayed for the weekend before continuing their journey to the Middle East. A week later, on May 6, a further nine 1st FW F-15G arrived en route to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, leaving in the early hours of May 11, The activity continued when the original eight aircraft returned from the Middle East on May 12. After flying a few missions on the ACMI range, four left on May 16, followed by the remainder the next day.

Exercise Commonwealth Bullseye, a Lodeo exercise, saw the arrival at RAF Lyneham of RAAF C-130H A97-001 from 36 Sqn on May 5. It was joined on the 6th by RNZAF C-130H NZ7002 from 40 Sqn and Canadian Forces CC-130H 130335 from 435 Sqn. The exercise finished on May 15. Another RNZAF/40 Sqn C-130H, NZ7005, which had airlifted in a UH-1H for the Helimeet at Middle Wallop, was also present during most of the period. The squadron’s European commitments continued during mid May when another of its Hercules was in Italy attending the Monte Cassino commemoration.

A couple of recent pre-exchanges have taken place recently — one at RAF Coltishall involved two 330 Mira/G reek Air Force F-16Ds from Nea Ankhialos visiting 54 Sqn between April 12 and 15, with the exchange proper expected in July. The other was at RAF Wittering between April 25 and 27, involving two Spanish Air Force Mirage FICGs from Ala 11 based at Valencia- Manises — the date for the exchange was between June 6-13.

Alan Wames

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