AirForces Monthly - February 2019

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AFM’s opinion on hot topics in military aviation.

Perfect partnership
A pair of F-35B Lightnings embarking on board HMS Queen Elizabeth off the east coast of the US marked a major step forward in regenerating the UK’s Carrier Strike capability. Richard Scott joined the carrier at the end of the First Of Class Flight Trials to find out how aircraft and ship performed together.

TORNADO TALES: Telic’s ‘young gun’
Flying Officer Pete Beilby turned 24 in the Kuwaiti desert while deployed on Operation Telic - the youngest RAF Tornado pilot engaged in the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces. He spoke to Thomas Newdick about flying the GR4 in combat.

Desert ‘Bones’
In an exclusive insight into US Air Force B-1B operations during combat missions in the Middle East, Ashley Wallace was granted access to the secretive base at Al Udeid, Qatar for a rare look at the Lancer at war.

Kings of the Arctic
Located within the Arctic Circle, Bodø airfield is surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords, and experiences the strongest winds in Norway. It’s an environment fraught with danger for the aviators of 330 Skvadron, as Neil Dunridge discovered.

Tehran’s show of force
The ninth Iran International Airshow ran from November 26-29 on the small island of Kish. In the shadow of renewed international pressure on the country, Daniele Faccioli witnessed an incredible display of air power.

Cold Lake – where fighter pilots are made
The NATO Flying Training in Canada programme was launched in 2000, and 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron became responsible for Phase IV training – the last step before the cockpit of a frontline fighter. Dirk Jan de Ridder investigates.

Postcard from Iruma
AFM contributor Rolf Flinzner was at Iruma Air Base in the city of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, north of western Tokyo, when the Japan Air Self-Defense Force opened the station’s doors to the public as part of the Culture Day national holiday on November 3.

Jungle lions at 30
Yissachar Ruas reports from Palanquero air base as AFM flies with the upgraded Kfir fighters of the Colombian Air Force’s Escuadrón de Combate 111.


INTEL REPORT: Egypt’s defence expo
Alan Warnes reports from the first Egypt Defence Exhibition (EDEX), held from December 3-5 on the outskirts of Cairo.

Air arms from Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay as well as the United States, Canada and France, came to Natal air base in northeast Brazil for the joint CRUZEX exercise in late November.

EXERCISE REPORT: Trident Juncture 2018
Trident Juncture 2018 was the largest collective defence exercise by NATO forces since the end of the Cold War.

FORCE REPORT: Lebanon - a force on the rise
The small but effective Lebanese Air Force has had its fair share of struggles in the past but is now undergoing an increase in aircraft numbers as well as professionalism.

EXERCISE REPORT: Falcon Autumn 2018
Exercise Falcon Autumn combined the rotary forces of the Germany Army and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: Composite air operations
Bringing a range of effects to bear in a neat air package is the very essence of the COMAO. It’s a way to meet mission objectives in a complex scenario.

Dave Allport details the world’s most recent military accidents.

Coming up
See what’s featuring in your AFM next month.