French fighter training starts today
11:10am Monday 11th March 2013 in News
French fighter jets will be flying over Pembrey Sands and Castlemartin as part of a training exercise starting today (Monday).
Around 30 French personnel will join UK troops for the exercise which will enable the French Navy Air Wing, based at NAS (Naval Air Station) Landivisau in north west France, to practice a procedure called Joint Fires.
This involves weapons being dropped or fired from aircraft which are then integrated with mortars, artillery and small arms on the ground.
From today (Monday) to March 26th, UK and French Joint Terminal Air Controllers will take part in the exercise alongside teams from the French Parachute brigade.
The jets, which consist of two squadrons of Rafale M fighters and one squadron of Super Etendard fighters, will fly daily missions, dropping practice bombs and firing their cannons.
The exercise will prepare troops for the formation of the future Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) which will see French and British troops working together as a team.
Commenting on the forthcoming exercise, Col Richard Howard-Gash, Commander Defence Training Estate Wales and West, said: “DTE’s priority is to support the armed forces as they prepare for operations and we are pleased to be able to support this joint exercise here in Wales. The ranges at Pembrey and Castlemartin are ideal for this type of training.”
During the exercise Pembrey will operate weekdays from 9am to 4pm, and Castlemartin will operate weekdays from 9am to 9.30pm.