First Overseas Exercise For RAF F-35 Lightnings

Posted on May 22, 2019

Six of the fighter jets have left RAF Marham, bound for RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The aircraft will take part in Exercise Lightning Dawn.

RAF Marham Station Commander, Group Captain Cab Townsend, said: “Operating from Marham, our home base, is relatively straightforward, so we need to practise going away for when the phone goes for real that we’ve got the confidence we can go overseas and operate as we will do when we’re required to. There’s an awful lot here that we haven’t done overseas before, which is why the exercise is so important”.

The exercise is designed to test the crew’s ability to work in different environments, as well as stepping up preparations for its first operational carrier deployment later this year.

The F-35s will also take part in routine training sorties and are expected to train alongside allies in the region. The arrival of the jets will be the first visit of any F-35 variant to Cyprus. RAF Akrotiri Station Commander, Group Captain Christopher Snaith, said it would be a “privilege to welcome 617 Squadron and the F35-B” aircraft.

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