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2011 Air Force Exercise
Joint Warrior 1/2011, Scotland
Location: Scotland
Admission: Not open to the public
Parking: NA
Value: Very Good
Joint Warrior (JW) is a tri-service exercise held twice a year; in spring and in autumn. It is the largest tactically focused exercise in Europe for the UK and allied forces in the north-east region of Scotland and over the North Sea. The exercise involves not just aircraft and land forces, but a large number of naval forces as well; including the Canadian Frigate HMCS Athabaskan. The maritime area in this section of the North Sea is closed for normal traffic during the exercise. The spring exercise this year was held between April 4th and 15 th for two weeks at Kinloss AFB and Lossiemouth AFB which are about 30 kilometres apart.
A typical JW includes between 20 and 30 Naval participants, including aviation, surface and sub-surface units. In addition, around 75 aircraft participate, representing a wide variety of air power capabilities including fast air, Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Command and Control (C2) assets flying at a daily rate of approximately 100 sorties. Ground based air defense (GBAD) units are also regular participants. JW regularly attracts participants from all major European nations, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. A period of formal Operational Sea Training (OST) is normally required prior to the Exercise for navies who do not regularly participate in JW. UK participating aircraft include: Typhoon, Tornado, GR4, VC10, Tristar, Sentinal, E3D and Hawk. They are all based in RAF Kinloss. Also were the F-15 from Lakenheath, NATO EA3 from Geilenkirchen, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft from US, Canada and France.
However this year, due to the Libyan conflict, several international air force participants scaled down or cancelled entirely their participation. In addition RAF Kinloss will be closed in the near future, and this will be the last time the base is used as part of JW. At this time only four Royal Navy T1A Hawk from Culdrose, six Dassault Falcon 20 from FRADU (Fleet Requirements Air Direction Unit are operated by the contractor Serco Defence and Aerospace), two French Navy Breguet Atlantic’s II (Nr.2 and 6) and two Lockheed P-3C (one should be a NP-3C Nr. 001, 204) from the test and evaluation center VX20 in Patuxant River, were stationed at RAF Kinloss.

Therefore, our correspondents concentrated their main focus on the nearby base RAF Lossiemouth (EGQS Runway 05/23 and 10/28). RAF Lossiemouth is home of the 12(B) Squadron, 14 Squadron (which will be disbanded in June this year), 15(R) Squadron, 617 Squadron all are flying the Tornado’s GR4 and GR4A’s and 202 Squadron which is flying the Westland Sea King HAR3 helicopters.

In view of the operational deployments, many of the Tornado GR4 aircraft did not carry any squadron markings. On the bright side, the fleet had been allocated with fixed codes, which made it a lot easier to identify individual aircraft! The serial number of the aircraft is painted on the rear fuselage, just behind the wings and invisible due to the underwing payload.
Unfortunately a number of Tornados were deployed to the USA for an exercise. Several Tornados are presently deployed in Afghanistan and numerous Tornados were moved to air bases in Southern Europe for the Libyan No Fly Zone enforcement.
Throughout our visit to RAF Lossiemouth, we noticed a lot of night flying activities, and spotted three German RECCE Tornados from AG 51 “Immelmann” from Schleswig Jagel. The German Tornados were providing reconnaissance support for the JW, over Scotland.
The week has passed fast and it was worth the travel and effort to get over to Scotland to cover this event.
RAF Tornado GR4s at Lossiemouth AFB
A German RECCE Tornado from AG 51 'Immelmann' from Schleswig Jagel.
Tornado GR4 at Lossiemouth AFB

Falcon 20 from Bournemouth FRADU  (Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit)

Hawk T1A at Kinnloss AFB
Rating: Not rated -- not an air show
Review co-written and photos by Wolfgang Jarisch and Peter Thivessen for Airshowsreview.
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