Image of RAF personnel, seen here on exercise Agile Protector at Sennybridge Training Area in Wales.

As No. 3 RAF Force Protection Wing (3 FP WG), based at RAF Marham, move into their contingency operations phase all their training was brought together on Exercise AGILE PROTECTOR.

Due to the complex nature in which 3 FP Wg are expected to operate, Exercise AGILE PROTECTOR required several concurrent exercising locations to test the proposed mission.

Working alongside the F-35 team at RAF Marham, Joint Personnel Recovery Ground Extraction at STANTA in Norfolk and Short Term Trg Team provision from other fixed locations.

The Short Term Training Team saw 3 combined capability flights from 15 Sqn RAF Regiment rotate through delivery of Air Force Protection training to a simulated Host Nation Force. Focusing on skills ranging from Individual Reinforcement Training, through basic fieldcraft and associated lessons, and working towards specific Air FP patrols.

Week 2 saw a full Wing deployment to SENYBRIDGE in Wales. This element brought a change of pace with deliberate operations in a high threat environment. Integrating Tactical Police Flights to deliver and refine deployed tactical Provost at all levels whilst practicing and consolidating the general warfighting skills that enable Air FP to succeed against a determined adversary as a complete unit.

Officer Commanding Number 3 Force Protection Wing said:

Exercise AGILE PROTECTOR is providing the Wing an opportunity to rehearse and validate its operational capabilities ahead of assuming Contingent Readiness from April 21 onwards. Designed to challenge all our personnel across a wide breadth of scenarios, both conventional and non-conventional, the exercise will test all my personnel from their individual skills to working as part of a cohesive and focused Wing. The exercise also acts as an opportunity to deploy our newly integrated Tactical Police Flight for the first time, building our understanding of their outstanding capabilities and immersing them into the wider Force Protection Wing                   

Joint Personnel Recovery Ground Extraction Force (GEF) serial was designed to simulate a demanding crashed aircraft and isolated person scenario, this phase of the exercise focused on rehearsing and validating 3 FP Wg’s ability to deliver Aircraft Post-Crash Management, and Joint Personnel Recovery Ground Extraction in a demanding high threat environment. Building upon the high level of training the Wg has received, this phase allowed personnel and commanders to understand the complexities of both scenarios, strengthen the skills required to respond to such events, and increase their operational readiness and capacity.

Diverted Aircraft Protection serial simulated the unplanned diversion of an F-35 to a civilian or military airfield, where 3 FP Wg focused on the protection of this Next Generation asset. Utilising the existing activity and complexity provided by live aircraft operations, forming of a protective security bubble around an aircraft within a Host Nations airfield / airport, in this case Somalia. The flights will be subjected to multiple non-firing injects to challenge commanders and gunners, with simulated media, civilian incursion (pedestrian and vehicle), insider threats and subtle attempts, to penetrate the controlled area.