U.K. flies in U.S. airspace

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Red Shrek, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. U.K. flies in U.S. airspace

    by Airman 1st Class Greg C. Biondo

    4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    9/27/2007 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Royal Air Force pilots and weapon system officers flying U.S. Air Force jets may sound like a farfetched idea, but to Flight Lieutenants Chris Ball, a Tornado GR4 pilot, and Mark Crawford, a weapon systems officer, this is their reality.

    They are part of an exchange program between the United States and the United Kingdom that consists of approximately 20 RAF exchange officers all flying different U.S. Air Force "Fast Jets". RAF Flight Lieutenants Ball and Crawford are the only two members of this program that operate the F-15E Strike Eagle.

    "The Fast Jet portion accounts for only a small part of the exchange program," said Flight Lieutenant Crawford. "There are literally hundreds of British versus American exchange positions, across all ranks, across all the services.

    According to Flight Lieutenant Ball the selection process for the exchange program is quite competitive and the two Flight Lieutenants say they are very lucky to have been selected.

    Both flight lieutenants went through their flight training at the same time and were deployed to Southwest Asia with the RAF, flying Tornado GR4's at the same time, which makes them being selected for this program and being stationed here all the more unique, said Flight Lieutenant Ball.

    My most memorable professional experience was deploying with the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron last year," said Flight Lieutenant Crawford. "Although I have deployed several times before with the RAF, it was an honor to be able to deploy with the most formidable Air Force in the world flying the most capable multi-role combat-proven aircraft in the world."

    Deploying with the 335th may have been unforgettable for the flight lieutenant, but the mission would not have been possible had it not been for the hard charging Airmen that he worked with hand-in-hand.

    "Working with the U.S. Air Force Airmen has also been a highlight," said Flight Lieutenant Crawford. "We may be from different countries, but it is obvious that we share the same values, and love the job that we do. It's just a shame that you guys can't speak English properly!"
    Being here has not only left a lasting impression for the Flight Lieutenants, it has also left its mark on Team Seymour.

    "I think our annual Battle of Britain parties are a great example of what Flight Lieutenants Crawford and Ball do in our squadrons daily - they inspire, they motivate, and at the same time make the Chiefs and Rockets a fun place to be," said Lt. Col. James Jinnette, 335th Fighter Squadron commander.

  2. Interesting Read.

    Wonder if our bad American english has gotten better or worse. :p