Page 24 - Cormorant 2019
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Air Combat Power Visit
Lt Cdr Pete Barfoot
ACSC 22’S AIR COMBAT Power Visit (ACPV) was the first visit of the academic year, where the students were able to break free of
the shackles of the Defence Academy to be hosted by Air Command at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire or ‘Bomber County.’ RAF
Coningsby is one of the most famous RAF stations, having been home to 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron during World War II. It is now one of two Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Stations, where RAF Typhoon aircraft are at a permanent state of immediate readiness to protect UK airspace.
Day one began with a welcome brief by Air Marshall Atha, Deputy Commander Operations, who set
the scene and highlighted a common theme of
the visit: that the RAF’s current operational tempo was the highest for 15 years. His candidness was appreciated by the course, as he spoke about the increasing age of some of the RAF assets and that the Service remained busy on counter
insurgency operations, but lacked current experience in near peer, high intensity operations. He was positive regarding air-maritime integration with the return
of the maritime patrol aircraft in the P-8 Poseidon (of which a USN airframe was present) and the F-35 in carrier strike. In addition, he highlighted
the flexibility of the new Protector RPAS and the development of space and cyber expertise, as the RAF remains at the forefront in these key domains.
Over the two days the course covered the themes of Combat Air, ISTAR, Air Mobility and Deploy/Sustain. In addition, a lucky few got to take part in Hawk

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