Offutt Hosts British Rivet Joint Training

Royal Air Force personnel who will operate the three RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic eavesdropping aircraft that Britain is acquiring will train at Offutt AFB, Neb., under the 55th Wing, USAF’s sole Rivet Joint operational unit. “We are truly excited about this unique opportunity to have members of the RAF training with us,” said Brig. Gen. John Shanahan, 55th Wing commander. The first Brits are scheduled to arrive Jan. 11; nearly 100 RAF personnel are slated to train there throughout 2011. They’ll mostly have experience in Nimrod R1 reconnaissance aircraft. They will participate in USAF’s standard RC-135 course work. Their training will take between three and five months, depending on crew position. Once qualified, they’ll be allowed to fly on USAF Rivet Joints until the British RC-135s are ready. The Brits are expected to receive their RC-135s in late 2013. (Offutt report by Ryan Hansen)