Cobra Warrior: also the aircraft of the 14th Wing of the Air Force at the international exercise of the Royal Air Force

(To air Force)

Starting from August 31st, Waddington air base in Great Britain hosted the second and final edition, for 2023, of the complex exercise Cobra Warrior, which every year sees the air forces of various partner countries of the Atlantic Alliance as protagonists.

The main objective of the exercise is to train new operational tactics instructors for fighter aircraft and integrate and synchronize the capabilities of NATO air forces in contexts characterized by complex and changing operations, the execution of which requires particular interoperability and flexibility. A further training focus was the simulation of multi-domain missions, created to test the multi-role capabilities of fighter aircraft and the ability to conduct operations in different natural environments.

The Air Force participated using an E-550A CAEW aircraft redeployed on site and a KC-767A which operated directly from Pratica di Mare. The 14th Wing's aircraft carried out Airborne Early Warning/Battlespace Management and Air to Air Refueling missions respectively in collaboration with British, US and Norwegian fighters and other Canadian and NATO support aircraft.

Specifically, British Eurofighter aircraft, USAF and RAF F-23A/Bs, Canadian F-35s, NATO AWACS and several refueling aircraft took part in the exercise, which will continue until September 18rd. in flight. English helicopters also collaborated on particular types of training missions.

The scheduled training missions are of different nature: DCA (Defensive Counter Air), SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense), AI (Air Interdiction) and PR (Personal Recovery). The E-550A CAEW carried out flight missions aimed at training the pilots of the 71st flight group and the DAMI (Integrated Air Defense and Missile) controllers of the CEM (Mission Crew Centre), conducting control activities of the aerotactic aircraft used in the 'exercise.

The 14th wing employed in Cobra Warrior 23-02 also the KC-767A which carried out in-flight refueling sorties for the aircraft of the various air forces involved in the exercise.

The 14th wing is based at the "Mario de Bernardi" Military Airport in Pratica di Mare and depends on the forces command for mobility and support which reports to its superordinate high command: air team command.

The department is divided into two flight groups: the 71st "Perseus" flight group, which conducts missions Airborne Early Warning with CAEW aircraft and radio measurement and tactical transport activities, also in favor of the civil protection department, with the P-180 Avanti I and II aircraft, and the 8th "Breus" flight group which carries out KC-767A aircraft air refueling missions, strategic transport and bio-containment transport.