Jaded Thunder which is
normally undertaken in the US took place for the first time in the UK,
from the 11th to the 22 July. The base chosen to hosted the largest
contingent of flying assets for this exercise was RAF Leeming. Leeming
was chosen because of its close proximity to the ranges on which the
operations were to be carried out. The flying days for the exercise were
13th-15th and 18th-20th July inclusive. During which three areas would
be operated simultaneously, with assets rotating through each during the
exercise. These were Spadeadam, Otterburn, and Catterick. Each would
offer simulated battlefield set ups resembling real-life scenarios in
combat including a fully functioning forward arming and refuelling
point, mock villages and a forward operating base.
Operating close to
Leeming gave the air assets maximum time on station at each of the local
ranges. They were all under the control of a Joint Terminal Controler
and when on station by Forward Air Controlers. The ranges offered
variety of terrains, including Local Urban Settings. Each of the
scenarios was to be applicable to real world missions.
Participants are home
based UK Hawk, Tornado, Typhoon, Shadow and E3D. Operating out in the
field or staging through Leeming are UK Chinook, Defender, Apache,
Gazelle, and Puma.
US participation includes the A10s and AH6 Little Birds, based at
Leeming. Operating from Mildenhall will be a JSTARS (13th-15th only) and
MC130s, with F15s from Lakenheath. CV22s will operate from Mildenhall
but may land away on occasion.