Cyprus Detachment 2014

Tactical Weapons Training in Cyprus

In July 2014, a detachment of instructors and students, plus eight Hawk T1 aircraft of 208 Squadron deployed to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to conduct Tactical Weapons Training.

Eight Hawk T1 aircraft and crew, including two of the Squadron’s latest recruits, took off from RAF Valley in Wales en-route for the Mediterranean where junior pilots will complete stage four training in the art of tactical warfare. For the next two weeks, the team will operate from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, as pilots Flight Lieutenants Stu Roberts and Steve Iwanek continue on course to become the next generation of highly skilled fighter pilots hoping to take to the seat of a Typhoon FGR4.

The annual training conducted on and around the Mediterranean island allows both QFI’s (Qualified Flying Instructors) and trainee pilots the chance to practice front line tactical drills in an austere environment - one very similar to many operational tours that the British forces are currently involved in.

Flt Lt Roberts said, “Steve and I joined the RAF at the same time and have pretty much done all of our training together. We get on well and we’re both competitive guys, but with there only being two of us it makes sense to work together and help each other out as best we can. There’s not a huge amount of ground to be lost between us so it seems to be working.”

Wing Commander Nick Gatenby, Officer Commanding 208 Squadron said:


“For six months Stu and Steve have advanced extremely well; completing low level flying, target training and most recently time on the range. Both are dedicated students who work well together and have a strong bond. I fully expect them to do really well on the front line and as they have the making of two strong fighter pilots both during peace time and on ops.”

The team will undertake a variety of missions including ‘one v one’, air to air combat training, giving them the skills to successfully carry out duties for the continued defence of the nation.

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