Collective training experts from 92 Squadron Inzpire White Force, supported by Inzpire’s Space Division, have recently delivered Exercise (Ex) COBRA WARRIOR 22-2. Ex COBRA WARRIOR 22-2 is the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s capstone event and marks the culmination of the Qualified Weapons Instructor courses.
The annual exercise, run by RAF and Inzpire personnel embedded within 92 Sqn at RAF Waddington, focuses on integrating weapons instructor courses and front-line units and exercising them in their warfighting roles alongside key allies. The exercise develops tactical interoperability amongst international partners, allowing them to focus combined effects against a peer adversary and develop both air-land and air-maritime integration.
Owing to the operational focus of 92 Sqn with invasion of Ukraine, the Inzpire team embedded within the Sqn has been at the heart of the latest iteration Ex COBRA WARRIOR, and has delivered the largest exercise in UK airspace in over two years.
Experts from across Inzpire spent six months preparing for the exercise: liaising with all of the participants to ensure that their training needs would be met; working on all aspects of the exercise from simple organisational tasks through to high-end scenario construction; and liaising with civilian landowners in order to position surface-to-air missile systems on private land.
Inzpire personnel produced all of the mission products including realistic target packs and representative strategic direction from the Joint Force Commander and assisted in resolving the complex IT infrastructure needed to plan, execute and debrief across multiple locations.
In addition, Inzpire’s ex-military space instructors provided subject matter and training expertise to the UK Space Command’s Qualified Space Instructor Course during the exercise by planning, integrating and executing space operations.
This version of the exercise saw the introduction of a Combat Intelligence Cell for the first time. Over 400 intelligence documents were produced to create an immersive and realistic scenario, enabling intelligence staff to rehearse filtering important information and providing it to other participants.
Participants flew into the UK from all over the world to take part. The Italian Air Force sent its weapons instructor course with six EF2000s, a 767 tanker and a G550 CAEW Command and Control aircraft. The German Air Force – Luftwaffe - sent six ECR Tornados to conduct suppression of enemy air defence missions.
The United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) sent three HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters to practise joint personnel recovery and helicopter integration, as well as eight F-16CMs from Aviano. Two B-52s from continental America participated and practised force integration and dynamic targeting. USAFE also participated with F-15Es and for the first time the F-35A – a fifth-generation fighter from the 495th Fighter Squadron, which has only recently arrived in the UK.
Adding to this were NATO E-3As and Typhoons, F-35Bs, Chinooks, Wildcats, Merlins, Apaches, Voyagers, A-400Ms, US MC-130s and from military airfields across Britain.
Around 80 aircraft participated in a number of challenging missions covering all aspects of modern warfare. Missions included: air policing; surface attack; airborne interdiction; ISR; non-kinetic effects; space; air-land integration; air-maritime integration; and both reactive and planned joint personnel recovery.
Because of its size, the exercise was run from multiple separate locations including RAF Waddington, RAF Leeming and RAF Boulmer, which simulated the likely situation in a real-world campaign with force elements operating from disparate locations.