A recent trip to RAF Waddington, Lincs, for Exercise Cobra Warrior 19 was on the cards for a 3 day visit.
Exercise Cobra Warrior is taking place at RAF Waddington Lincs, between Monday 2nd September to Friday 20th September with aircraft from the German Air force, Italian Air force & Israeli Air Force all taking part in this Exercise, all the aircraft will be based at Waddington for the duration, apart from RAF and USAF participation will be operating from elsewhere. This Exercise is set out to be the largest Air Exercise taken place at RAF Waddington. The Exercise is all about training and qualifying the weapons instructors in a simulated tactical environments.
This years Cobra Warrior attracted a large interest amongst the enthusiasts with the Israeli Air Force F-15 C and D, BAZ models from 106th Spearhead Sqd Based at Tel Nof Airbase taking part for the first time which meant restrictions on what you can and cannot do whilst observing the departure of such aircraft, so the rumour says, on the subject of rumours during the Exercise period, I for one wish they wound not spread false information around and winding people up, saying that some of the rumour mongers were having a field day and having fun at spreading them, all part of the fun being an aviation enthusiast/photographer.
So the plan was to go and get the arrivals, spread over 2 days, to bag all and go back a few days later and get them taxing and recovering during the Exercise. With the Israeli arrival of 7 F-15 BAZZ late on in the afternoon the light was not in my favour saying that a back lit approach was not bad. The next day saw the arrival of 14 EF-2000, typhoons, before you ask the European operators of the aircraft don’t like the word Typhoon. We had 10 German air force marked up types from TLG 73, Laage, saying that there were a couple wearing the markings of TLG-74, Neuburg all of which arrived by lunchtime then followed by 4 Italian Air force EF-2000s all wearing different unit markings, most of which turned up in decent light. the support aircraft consisted of A-400ms, A310 MRRT, German, C-130 Hercules, Italian, and C-130j Hercules and Boing 707 Tanker Transport from Israel, which created interest from the enthusiast especially the take off the next day.
On with the Exercise this was a scrum for positioning along the fence, can we or can we not use step ladders, this got very confusing, one day you can use them, the next day you cant, someone needed to sort the problem or this could get ugly later on during the exercise, rant over. During my visit on the Exercise day I found this a bit of a ball ache as the Israelis being camera shy did not play ball whilst I was there, they used the Alpha taxi way to proceed to the end of the runway which meant a long lens had to be used to get my shots, managed to get them never or less, it would of been nice if they used Bravo taxi way like they did on the Monday of that week, which meant a standard lens with a clearer background would have been the icing on the cake, never mind these things are meant to try us.
Most of the aircraft flew during my time here, It was great to meet friends old and new, some of which I haven’t seen for years, great catch up if nothing else. Thanks go to Christine and all in the wave enclosure who supplied us all with bacon butties ,coffees and the all important toilets, I hope money raised for Christine who happened to pay out with her own pocket gets enough to pay for those convenience’s.