Royal Air Force aircrew to train at Offutt

An RC-135 Rivet Joint flies over Afghanistan. / © U.S. Air Force photo / Master Sgt. Scott Wagers

An RC-135 Rivet Joint flies over Afghanistan. / © U.S. Air Force photo / Master Sgt. Scott Wagers

Posted By Frank Grealish

An agreement was signed recently between the US Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defence that allows the RAF to purchase three RC-135V/W Rivet Joint aircraft over the next seven years.

As part of this new agreement, the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was tasked to train the initial cadre of RAF aircrews.

The Fightin' Fifty-Fifth has the US Air Force's only operational RC-135 wing and is the sole provider of Rivet Joint initial qualification training.

Once trained the RAF crews will be allowed to fly on U.S. Rivet Joint aircraft, called co-manning, until the U.K.'s RC-135 fleet reaches full operational capability.

The first group of RAF aircrew members are scheduled to arrive January 11th.

"We are truly excited about this unique opportunity to have members of the RAF training with us here," said Brig. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, 55th Wing commander.

"The U.K.-U.S. special relationship has been the cornerstone of relations between the two countries and we look forward to strengthening our intelligence ties through this cooperative arrangement."

Pilots, navigators, electronic warfare officers and a whole host of intelligence operators and airborne maintenance technicians from 51 Squadron at RAF Waddington are all scheduled to attend the training.

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Source: af.mil

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