Aerial Warfare

Joint Expeditionary Force Fighter Jets Intercept US Bombers in Multinational Defense Exercise

134
×

Joint Expeditionary Force Fighter Jets Intercept US Bombers in Multinational Defense Exercise

Share this article
Joint Expeditionary Force Fighter Jets Intercept US Bombers in Multinational Defense Exercise
Joint Expeditionary Force Fighter Jets Intercept US Bombers in Multinational Defense Exercise

High readiness fighter aircraft from six Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations scrambled in quick succession to intercept and escort U.S. Air Force bombers in a multinational exercise demonstrating their readiness to defend northern European airspace and NATO’s North Atlantic flank. In the latest iteration of Exercise Global Guardian, Quick Response Alert (QRA) fast jets from the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland scrambled, intercepted and conducted rolling handovers with, for the first time, a flight of two U.S. B-52s on June 18, 2024. During the flight from RAF Fairford in the UK to home stations in the United States, the bombers simulated a long-range aviation patrol by an unfriendly nation. Once they left European airspace, the flight split up they were then intercepted by U.S. and Canadian QRA jets.

After its inauguration in February 2024, exercise Global Guardian is set to become a regular fixture involving nations from the JEF, the U.S. and NATO’s Air Command. Its purpose is to demonstrate a seamless response to any unfriendly or suspicious air activity. Global Guardian is confirmation of the European contribution towards defence in depth of the North American landmass. Exercises such as Global Guardian are sending a clear message that deter malign activity and reassure friends. The JEF played a key role in this exercise by coordinating the unified strategic communications effort and aligning it with NATO and the U.S.

 Quick Reaction Alert fast jets from the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland scrambled, intercepted and conducted rolling handovers demonstrating their readiness to defend northern European airspace and NATO’s North Atlantic flank.
Quick Reaction Alert fast jets from the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland scrambled, intercepted and conducted rolling handovers demonstrating their readiness to defend northern European airspace and NATO’s North Atlantic flank. (Photo by JEF)

“Global Guardian is exciting. Not only does it leverage high-end B-52 capability from the US, but it also provides a unique opportunity to work together across the vast geography of the High North and North Atlantic and test our operational and tactical linkages across a number of domains,” said Group Captain Kevin Latchman, JEF Director of Communications in Northwood, UK.

The multinational participants demonstrated the readiness of JEF nations, aligned with NATO, to respond to any adversarial air activity that challenges freedom of navigation along the lines of communication between Europe’s NATO nations and their U.S. and Canadian Allies showcasing a strong transatlantic link. NATO routinely conducts QRA flights on a 24/7 high-readiness posture. Among others, the interceptor aircraft respond to Russian military Long-Range Aviation which regularly do not comply with civilian protocols when they cross national air defence identification zones. While the aircraft and their crews attract the attention, Global Guardian also exercises command and control centres along with ground-based radar stations across mainland Europe, Iceland, the UK and NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany. Support personnel who enable QRA forces to stay at a high state of readiness to react to any threat played a critical role

Joint Expeditionary Force Fighter Jets Intercept US Bombers in Multinational Defense Exercise
U.S. AirForce Boeing B-52 Stratofortress long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber simulated a Long-Range Aviation patrol during Global Guardian (Photo by JEF)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *