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USAFE-UK host RAF leaders, sign interoperability charter

Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group signs the Combat Air Interoperability Working Group Charter, Nov. 27, 2018, at RAF Lakenheath, U.K. The charter outlines operational integration of advanced fighters and training infrastructure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group, center, poses with Air Commodore Jez Attridge, Joint Force Air Component Commander, left, and Brig. Gen. Andrew Hansen, U.S. Air Force Europe-United Kingdom director, right, in front of an F-15E Strike Eagle, Nov. 27, 2018, at RAF Lakenheath, U.K. The U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force leaders met to discuss bilateral relations and sign the Combat Air Interoperability Working Group Charter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, U.K. (AFNS) -- U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force leaders met to discuss bilateral relations and sign the Combat Air Interoperability Working Group Charter at RAF Lakenheath, U.K., Nov. 27.

Brig. Gen. Andrew Hansen, U.S. Air Forces Europe-United Kingdom director, hosted Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group, last week to strengthen host nation ties and sign the CAIWG charter. The agreement outlines operational integration of advanced fighters and training infrastructure.

“Anytime we can come together as allies and improve our readiness states is a victory,” Smyth said. “I’m happy to have this opportunity to sign the charter and continue our special relationship.”

The CAIWG is a working group composed of U.S. and Royal Air Force leaders who discuss issues related to airspace and training ranges for fourth and fifth-generation aircraft.

“Today both nations took a step together to ensure readiness and interoperability for our fifth-generation aircraft,” said Hansen. “The charter gives us an opportunity to quantify our roles and responsibilities and further solidifies the strong alliance we have with the United Kingdom.”

The timing of the charter is critical due to the arrival of the F-35B Lighting II to RAF Marham, U.K., June 7, 2018 and the projected arrival of the F-35A Lighting II to RAF Lakenheath in 2021.

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