A pair of F-35 Lightning IIs each from the US Air Force, the Royal Air Force/Royal Navy and the Israeli Air Force have flown a joint mission over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. USAF F-35As are currently deployed to Europe as part of a Theater Security Package and also to Al Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates to support Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’. Six British F-35Bs are operating from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, while the Israeli F-35Is likely flew from their home base at Nevatim.
Dubbed Exercise ‘Tri-Lightning’, the mission took place on June 25 and was reported as being a defensive counter air exercise ‘to improve interoperability and coordination in air operations among the US and its partners.’
It came shortly after the UK Ministry of Defence announced that British F-35s had flown their first combat missions over Iraq and Syria under the current ‘Lightning Dawn’ deployment by No 617 Squadron to Cyprus.