RAF FAIRFORD, England --
Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 307th Bomb Wing arrived at RAF Fairford, England, Sept. 5, 2019, in support of Ample Strike 19, NATO days, and Exercise Cobra Warrior 19.
This is the first year the unit is supporting Exercise Cobra Warrior and the fourth year for Ample Strike.
Ample Strike 19 is designed for U.S. aircrews to work closely with Joint Terminal Air Controllers from several different countries and offers advanced Air and Land Integration Training. This year, representatives from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States are scheduled to participate.
JTACS direct the action of combat aircraft from forward positions and engage in a variety of functions ranging from close air support to bombing missions. The training during this year’s exercise includes simulations involving opposing forces and contested environments, as well as live range and urban terrain scenarios.
“It is always good to train with JTACS from our NATO allies and partners because it allows us to better understand the tactics they use to execute targets on the ground,” said Lt. Col. Richard Rullifson, 307th Bomb Wing detachment commander. “Getting the opportunity to work with them is some of the best training in the world.”
Exercise Cobra Warrior, a U.K.-led effort, serves to train and qualify weapons instructors for the Royal Air Force. It will involve 50 aircraft from England, Israel, Italy, Germany and the U.S., according to the RAF official website.
The exercise will run from Sept. 1-20 and will be directed by staff at RAF Waddington. In a statement from the RAF website, exercise director Group Capt. Robert Barrett expressed gratitude for the amount of participation in this year’s event.
“The RAF welcomes the participation of our Air Force colleagues from the nations and we welcome the opportunity to train alongside all the participating nations’ forces on this challenging exercise,” he said.
Most of the aircraft taking part in Exercise Cobra Warrior are fighters. The 307th Bomb Wing is scheduled to offer the only bomber presence in the exercise, a B-52 Stratofortress, said Maj. Greg Watson, 307th weapons systems officer and the U.S. liaison for Cobra Warrior.
“We bring a large amount of weapons delivery capability to the fight,” said Watson. “A single B-52 is equivalent to having four fighter aircraft present.”
The 307th BW is scheduled to fly multiple sorties while at RAF Fairford.