Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters return to Eastern Europe after exercises
Operation Azotize began in March 2023 and marks the second deployment of Typhoons to Eastern Europe since the Russian invasion that occurred last year.
In March 2022, a similar deployment under Operation Biloxi took place in Romania, covering the southern region of NATO's Eastern border.
According to a UK MoD press release, the Typhoon detachment to Romania in 2022 provided continuous air cover for the region and also participated in various exercises.
One notable example was a multinational tank exercise involving 250 armoured vehicles, led by the US and encompassing 17 nations across Eastern Europe.
The RAF Typhoons also travelled to Turkiye to engage in joint training with the Turkish, Pakistani, Jordanian and Azerbaijani air forces, testing pilot skills and fostering cooperation.
Both Azotize and Biloxi were part of NATO's broader commitment to ensuring air policing along its Eastern flank. These deployments were planned well in advance, even before Russia's incursion took place.
The report also highlighted the participation of 9,000 military personnel from 17 NATO and partner countries in Exercise Swift Response 2022. These international troops trained together in various locations, from the Arctic and Baltic states to the Balkans.
In North Macedonia, RAF Typhoons provided support to ground forces in a simulated enemy encounter.
Meanwhile, RAF C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft delivered British and Italian paratroopers using high altitude low opening (HALO) and traditional parachute jumps.
Chinook helicopters were also deployed to transport troops and heavy weaponry.
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