‘Brilliant Arrow 2017’
The Luftwaffe’s largest exercise was conducted 11-24 September 2017 in northern Germany. ‘Brilliant Arrow’ is designed to train NATO air forces to share their experience and skills in combined air operations.
Exercise Brilliant Arrow 2017 ( BRAW17), conducted from 11 to 24 September 2017 in northern Germany, was the Luftwaffe’s largest exercise this year. The aim was to obtain NATO Response Force ( NRF) certification for 2018 from the Joint Force Air Component Command, based in Kalkar in Germany. The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed. In addition to its operational role, the NRF provides a vehicle to demonstrate operational readiness and act as a “testbed” for Alliance transformation. It can be used in the implementation of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) as a vehicle for greater cooperation in education and training, increased exercises and better use of technology.
Brilliant Arrow is designed to train NATO air forces who do not routinely train together to share their experience and skills in combined air operations. It prepares the participating units and HQ AIRCOM to assume standby from 2018, ready to react in defence of the NATO region and its interests.
Exercise activities were supported by AWACS aircraft flying out of the NATO Air Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, an Airbus A-310 MRTT tanker aircraft taking off from Cologne with target simulation aircraft and forces from Hohn, Nordholz and Nordhorn. Moreover, the 26th Surfaceto-Air Missile Group in Husum and 3rd Tactical Air Command and Control Group in Holzdorf/Schönwalde with their deployable Control and reporting Centre provided key support to successful training during the exercise. The aircraft flying in the exercise were: Wittmund AB Luftwaffe from Wittmund AB with Taktischen Luftwaffengeschwader 71 ‘Richthofen’, using four Eurofighter Typhoons Polish Air Force from the 31st Tactical Air Base Poznań–Krzesiny with 6 Squadron, a total of 72 persons, with 10 pilots and five F-16s Greek Air Force from Souda Bay AB with 340th Squadron of the 115 Combat Wing, a total of 42 persons, with 12 pilots and four F-16s Discovery Air Defence provided adversary air assets, with two A-4s as ‘red air’ Laage AB Turkish Air Force with two F-16s
Discovery Air Defence provided A-4s as aggressors