As an RAF Weapons Technician currently serving with 1(Fighter) Squadron, SAC Andy Leyton can never be quite sure where the job is going to take him – but for a second time the lucky Northumberland lad is loving his part in Exercise Red Flag in the United States.
The exercise has seen the RAF join Australian and US crews at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, their training taking place over clear blue desert skies tackling realistic scenarios.
With more than 15,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9million acres of land available, training is on a scale that is simply not possible in Europe.
Andy said: “I joined the Royal Air Force because I wanted to travel the world, gain new experiences and meet new people all while doing a job that I really enjoy. I picked my trade as a weapons technician because it’s interesting, challenging and comes with a lot of responsibility.
“This is my second time on Exercise Red Flag which is a fantastic experience. Working alongside the American and Australian forces is great training as you get to see how they work on different aircraft types and weapons.
“It’s always good to go somewhere where all of my training is put to the test.”
The squadron are due to return home later this month where a somewhat colder welcome awaits.