The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) passed a major NATO capability evaluation (CAPEVAL) in early March, designed 'to prove the service's ability to conduct operations in challenging conditions'.
The CAPEVAL, announced on 13 March, involved 600 personnel from the 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), and took place at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire, northern England, from 5 to 11 March. 135 EAW comprises airmen from across the RAF with a range of skills that include firemen, medics and Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
The NATO CAPEVAL assessed the RAF's ability to support the alliance. Eight Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft from 1 (Fighter) and 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadrons based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland were used to demonstrate the service's ability to cope with a range of threats from air policing to full warfighting. 1 Squadron, RAF Regiment, also participated.
The 135 EAW was scrutinised by over 100 trained evaluators representing a range of nations from across NATO.
As noted by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, this was the first NATO CAPEVAL for the RAF in a decade.
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