Pictures show US and RAF planes refuelling while in flight over North Sea during Joint Warrior exercise in Scotland

Pictures taken today show the activities of a military exercise which involved RAF planes flying low over the country.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 7:30 pm

Exercise Joint Warrior is the largest military exercise in Europe, bringing together the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the British Army, as well as forces from other nations.

It takes place in the spring and autumn each year and, according to the Royal Navy, 3,725 military personnel are taking part along with 16 warships and 58 aircraft.

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Fourteen nations are involved and these are the UK, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Japan, UAE and the US.

A F-35B combat aircraft from the United States Marine Corp refuels from an RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea on October 08, 2020 in flight, above Scotland. Pictures: Leon Neal.
A F-35B combat aircraft from the United States Marine Corp refuels from an RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea on October 08, 2020 in flight, above Scotland. Pictures: Leon Neal.

Among the practice manoeuvres being undertaken are airborne assaults, amphibious landings, evacuations and live-fire exercises.

The exercise runs through crisis and conflict situations that could be realistically encountered in operations such as territory disputes, terrorist activity and piracy.

Exercises around Edinburgh and Fife have already involved Chinook helicopters using cover of darkness to land and deploy special forces on Inchkeith island in the middle of the Forth, with loud bangs heard on Wednesday night.

Today, images emerged of F-35B combat aircraft from the United States Marine Corp and RAF Typhoons refuelling from a RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea while in flight.

A RAF Typhoon combat aircraft refuels from an RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea on October 08, 2020 in flight, above Scotland.

Flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth, the RAF, Navy and US Marine Corps pilots were demonstrating the operational capabilities of NATO and the UK for current and future threats.

The Royal Navy says the aim of Joint Warrior is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together and hone tactics and skills to prepare for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.

Mission Systems Operator Sgt Andy Emberton oversees the operation from the cockpit as two F-35B combat aircraft refuel from an RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea on October 08.