Moray squadron break new ground with joint Japanese exercise

Going Japanese - II(AC) Squadron heading for  first ever joint exercise with Japan's air defence force.
Going Japanese – II(AC) Squadron heading for first ever joint exercise with Japan’s air defence force.

FOUR MORAY BASED Typhoon jets are set to take part in a historic first ever joint exercise between Japanese and Nato air forces.

The aircraft and personnel from II(AC) Squadron are being joined by Voyager and C-17 aircraft for the first ever joint UK-Japan exercise at the JASDF Misawa air base from the middle next month.

Alongside the four Lossiemouth Typhoons in Japan will be F2 and F15 fighter aircraft for an operation that is the first ever time Japan has worked with any foreign nation other than the United States.

The exercise – Guardian North 16 – was first agreed in January this year between UK and Japanese defence ministers and represents a deepening partnership between the countries in security and defence.

II(AC) Squadron’s Wing Commander Roger Elliot said: “This is the most ambitious deployment that the fighting force has ever done and I think the most ambitious that the RAF has done. It is a huge honour to be taking part and the first RAF unit to be going into operations with the Japanese air self-defence force.

“To be honest this is an absolutely phenomenal opportunity – not just for the squadron but for the entire air force and all of the supporting elements that come with us.

“The mission at RAF Lossiemouth is to deliver quick reaction alert and prepare for global operations – so by going to the Far East there is no better way to prepare for global operations that will practice everybody in their roles supporting combat air.”

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