Largest RAF exercise in UK for over a decade begins over North East of England

More than 70 aircraft will be taking part Credit: RAF

The largest military exercise to be run by the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom for more than a decade has begun over the North East of England.

More than 70 aircraft are taking part in the training exercise, including RAF, Royal Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force fast jets, multi-engine aircraft and helicopters.

Exercise Crimson Warrior will operate from a number of RAF stations across the country, with training exercises taking place over the North Sea; off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast, and across the North East of England.

It is being controlled by a specialist team at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

In a statement, exercise director, Group Captain Rob Barrett said: "Exercise Crimson Warrior is the largest and most complicated flying exercise we have held for many years and it is a vital part of the preparation for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment.

"The Exercise will challenge participants from both the UK and the USA’s air forces in the full range of Air and Space power roles, and it has been just as much of a challenge to organise and run, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I am confident that the precautions we have taken have reduced the risks to participants and the public as much as practicable."

The exercise began on 19 October and will run until 5 November.