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In and around LFA17

Plus Visits & Exercises

Photo Pages

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News concerning LFA17&LFA13



     Exercises occasionally use the LFA17 area to either transit area or operate and conduct specific taskings. Aircaft taking part in such an exercise and flying at low level will be simulating a war scenario and practicing radar evasion. CAP's or Combat Air Patrols have declined over the years but there were areas in which the patrols would loiter in wait for potential threatening targets to chase.                         

FOB Ground crew get ready for an inbound helicopter at Walney on exercise Herrick Eagle

  FOB's or Forward Operating Bases have been set up into which various elements are flown in, this is to replicate a move away from a permanent base in a fast moving war situation. These events can vary in size and aircraft types depending on the scenario.

Forward Air Conrollers direct a CH130 onto a target

FAC Forward Air Controller training is the most common training now undertaken in the area. These are mobile ground staff who training to utilize fast jets calling in air strikes or air drops on a specific target.

HarrierT10 on route to Spadeadam


In the northern corner of LFA17 is Spadeadam LFA13. This is the RAF’s largest base in Britain which is on the old Blue Steel test establishment site, now the only facility in Europe where aircrews can practise manoeuvres and tactics against a variety of threats and targets







Updated on

This page will be for news of forthcoming events and NOTAMS (notice to airmen) that could affect the area.


Walney Airfield's Visitors

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CLICK HERE FOR NOTAMS C130J ZH888 on route to Carlise


Past Exercises & Shows that were held within LFA17

The following pages are of past exercises and shows that have taken place within LFA17. These vary from small 

Rising Panther

One of the numerous sorties that took place as part of the exercise Rising Panther.  

TAC UK 2016

Arriving at Carlisle for the exercise TacBlaze the Royal Netherlands Air Force RNLAF brought their largest deployment for this exercise to date.

TAC UK 2015

Once again the Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed to Carlisle this time the exercise was under the banner of TAC UK.

Whitehaven Festival of the Sea

The Festival of the Sea at Whitehaven was the backdrop to this air display

Joint Warrior Carlisle 13-1

Tagging onto the last week of the RNLAF at Carlisle was a large airborne exercise using Carlisle as a FOB

TAC Blaze 13-1

April 2013 and the return of the RNLAF to Carlisle for their HWIC

TAC Blaze 12-2

The RNLAF return to Carlisle for their second TAC Blaze of 2012

TAC Blaze 12-1

The RNLAF Helicopter Commands TAC Blaze of 2012 begins

Windermere Air Show 2011

Windermere 2011 promised to be the biggest air show ever as a new organization took over the running of the event

TAC Blaze 11-1

Carlisle played host again to the RNLAF for this years TAC Blaze exercise

Windermere Air Show 2010

The Windermere Rotary Club again chose the last weekend in July to stage this years Air Show centred around the Glebe at Bowness

HWIC  2010-1

RNLAF latest deployment arrived at Carlisle on the 1st November under the banner Helicopter Weapons Instructors Course

TAC Blaze 10-1

Another Flaming Success for the RNLAF & Sadeadam as TAC Blaze returns to the North West

TAC Blaze 09-2

   Carlisle airport owned by Stobart Air saw the return visit of the Royal Netherlands Air Force for TAC Blaze 09-2

Windermere Air Show 2009

   The Windermere Air Show has now grown in popularity into a full blown Air Show

TAC Blaze 2009

   The aim of the deployment to Carlisle along with the exercise was to enable the unit to prove that it can operate away from its home base and be self sufficient.

Windermere Air Show 2007

   Once again over the weekend of 28th and 29th of July, Windermere's Rotary Club staged their Gala day on the Glebe at Bowness

Lightning Force 2007

    From 20th February till the 28th, Carlisle played host to 3 Regiments 663 Sqn of the AAC as they took part in exercise Lightning Force.

TLZ on Walney

  The Second World War Airfield of Walney was brought out of military retirement once more for another training exercise

Herrick Eagle

   Exercise Herrick Eagle   was a designed to test out the rapid reaction of the 16th Air Assault Brigade. Most of this two week exercise had been carried out on Salisbury Plain

Wycome Warrior

   On the14th & 15th September.  Exercise Wycombe Warrior was to provide a realistic coalition training exercise

Lightning Dawn

   Deploying to Carlisle from Dishforth, Apache helicopters of the 9th Regt AAC a number of  Lynx plus all their ground crew

Windermere Air Show 2006

    Over the weekend of 29th & 30th July Lake Windermere in the heart of the Lake District became the venue for what must be one of the most stunning places in the country to hold and Air Show


Visits & Exercises
The following pages are of visits made and of trips taken

Scotnigt (Lossiemouth)

  Since 1998 the Swiss Air Force have practiced their F18 night flying in Norway. Nevertheless this November they intend to do this training at Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Brimstone Trials (Warton)

   Another milestone has been reached at BAE Systems Warton with the ongoing development of the Typhoon project known as Centurion.

Joint Warrior16-2 (Lossiemouth)

   The second of the biannual exercises incorporating land sea and air forces known as Joint Warrior set to run from the 8th to the 20th Oct got underway. This UK lead exercise supported by forces from around the world

Joint Warrior16-2 /Noble Arrow (Leeming)

   RAF Leeming became a hive of activity from the beginning of October with the arrival of two Swedish Armed Forces UH60 Blackhawks for there deployment for Helicopter Electronic Weapons Training the helicopters were based at Leeming and at least one would fly each day to Spadeadam spending all day on the range before RTB to Leeming of an evening.

Jaded Thunder (Leeming)

   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.

Griffin Strike (Leeming)

   Four French Air Force Rafale's from their bases at Mont de Marsan and St Dizier arrived at RAF Leeming

Joint Warrior 16-1 (Lossiemouth)

   For the first Joint Warrior of 2016 Lossiemouth and some of its based Typhoons, played host to both MPA and fighter aircraft from six NATO counties.  

Storm Shadow trials at Warton

   Italian aerospace and defence company Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi along with its Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) MMX-614, arrived   at Warton in Lancashire

BAE Systems Warton

    A major milestone for BAESystems at the start of as part of a £1.6 billion project to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force with its next generation of training aircraft

Joint Warrior 15-2 (Leeming)

    In conjunction with JW15-2 Seven Tornados IDS of Tactical Air Wing 51 FROM THE German Air Force arrived at RAF Leeming for a two week deployment.

Joint Warrior 15-2 (Lossiemouth)

    Joint Warrior is one of the largest tri-service and multinational exercises of its kind in Europe, providing high quality coordinated training at the tactical level for all three UK Armed Services and numerous units from allied nations

Indra Dhanush IV (Coningsby)

  Coningsby hosted the Indian Air Force when they returned to the UK with their Sukhoi SU-30MKI-3 Flankers for the latest Anglo Indian exercise Indra Dhanush IV.

Joint Warrior 14-2

  The biannually held Joint Warrior exercise is the largest exercise held within the UK and Europe. This exercise is unique in that it uses live assets from all of the armed forces (land sea & air) from numerous NATO nations.

Joint Warrior 14-1

 In terms of personnel the largest Joint Maritime Course JMC to date took place over the 31st March – 11th April 2014the first of two NATO JMC exercises

Farewell VC10

 With just two days before the VC10’s final departure from Brize Norton and RAF service.

Green Flag 2013

 A two week exercise at RAF Coningsby during the first two weeks of September 2013, saw the RAF hosting guests from the Royal Saudi Air Force to take part in Exercise Saudi-British Green Flag

70th Anniversary Flypast

 2013 saw the 70th anniversary of the founding of 617 Squadron and the Dams Raid

Joint Warrior 13-1

Joint Warrior 1213-1 was to be one of the largest JMC execise to date with over 13,000 personel from 9 NATO countries

Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Exhibition 2013

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  The exhibition saw major aircraft manufactures competing to sell MRCA aircraft to the Malaysian Air Force                                                                 

Lossiemouth QWIC 12-1

Held at Lossiemouth in October this years Qualified Weapons Instructors Course QWIC 2012

Joint Warrior 12-1

After the closure of Kinloss it was Leuchars that helped support Lossiemouth in the latest JMC exercise Joint Warrior 12-1

Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Exhibition 2011

The exhibition saw major aircraft manufactures competing to sell MRCA aircraft to the Malaysian Air Force

41Sqn 95th Anniversary 

A presentation took place at RAF Coningsby on the 23rd September to celebrate the 95 years of distinguished service of1Sqn.

Joint Warrior 11-1

Although not sure of its future at the time of this exercise, JW11-1 would be the penultimate exercise that Kinloss would host before it ceased to exist as a RAF station.

Joint Warrior 10-2

 The second Joint Warrior exercise of 2010 got underway of the coast of North West Scotland

Tactical ATC on Pembrey Beach

 Whenever there is a need for an off airfield landing to be made by the RAF be it as a humanitarian mission, or an operational requirement within a combat region  


 RAF Mildenhall began its days in October 1934 as a RAF Bomber Command base and stayed that way until the end of the war, when the base was placed on standby until July 1950 reopening as a joint USAF RAF base

Tactical ATC on Salisbury Plain

 Within the many services of the RAF there is a small Tactical Air Traffic Control unit responsible for initiating and setting up of tactical landing areas  

Joint Warrior 09-01

    Exercise JOINT WARRIOR is a 2 week UK wide tri-service exercise conducted in the Spring and the Autumn of each year

65th Anniversary Flypast

A service and fly-past has been held to mark the 65th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission.

Joint Warrior 08-01

     Joint Warrior which was formally know as Joint Maritime Course (JMC), is a biannual Air and Maritime exercise held in Scotland, 

Fagin 11

      Moments later, Tristar ZD953 call sign Fagin 11 started its three RB211 engines completed their checks and we were taxing

TLP Kinloss

                     Leaving its usual operating base of Florennes Air Force Base in Belgium relocated at RAF Kinloss for the very first time


                   Home to the Four operational  Harrier Squadrons RAF Cottesmore is now the center of  the Joint Force Harrier

Sky Lance

  The aim of Exercise SKYLANCE was to provide joint collective training in a multi-threat environment for UK units and invited NATO and Allied units and their staffs

Saudi Green Flag 07

  Exercise Saudi Green Flag 07 was the second half of a squadron exchange, in which 617 Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth hosted eight Tornado aircraft from the Royal Saudi Air Force


  The Marham Wing is one of the largest and busiest in the RAF, operating 4 Squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft in the attack and reconnaissance roles

Fagin 13

  After departing its home base of Brize Norton, the Tri-Star ZD951 of 216 Sqn headed to the air to air refueling area 6

Springhawk 2007

  Before the team left the UK the new flying members where chosen from this year’s applicants and flying training began in earnest

56 Sqn's 50th Birthday

   The squadrons anniversary weekend began on Friday afternoon when a nine ship diamond formation departed Leuchars and flew around the region to mark their years as an RAF squadron

Top Hatter's deployment

Playing host to the Hornets at Lossiemouth was 14Sqn. The flying routine for the Hornets became two sorties per day with four aircraft the fifth aircraft staying at Lossiemouth as the spare