Top guns: RAF Typhoon pilots touched down in Bermuda yesterday en route to a training exercise in the US, which has been billed as ‘one of the toughest tests in the world’.
Top guns: RAF Typhoon pilots touched down in Bermuda yesterday en route to a training exercise in the US, which has been billed as ‘one of the toughest tests in the world’.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23: They arrived accompanied by a thunderous explosion of sound that would have left the Lighthouse in St David’s shaking.

Six RAF Typhoons arrived in Bermuda yesterday with their XI Squadron pilots ready to hone their skills in the toughest war theatre in the world.

They will pit their wits against the best in the business during five weeks of intense training at Langley Air Force Base and Nellis in the Nevada desert.

The first of six jets arrived at LF Wade International Airport at 2:15pm after a five-and-a-half-hour journey across the Atlantic from Lajes in the Azores.

They were joined by an RAF Tristar and VC10 carrying the 32 technicians and support crew that accompany them around the world.

The two support aircraft also conducted five or six mid-air refuelings on each jet during the trans-Atlantic crossing.

A further two Typhoons are due to arrive in Bermuda tomorrow before they join the rest of the squadron in Langley.

Wing Commander, Rich Wells, told the Bermuda Sun that the first wave of Typhoons were running slightly behind schedule after snow storms wreaked havoc across the UK. 

He added: “We’ll be in Langley for two weeks as part of an exercise called Western Zephyr working alongside the F22 Raptor.

“It is a big opportunity to test the capability of the aircraft and the pilots against the very best and develop tactics.

“Then we head down to Las Vegas and the Nevada range as part of exercise Red Flag with F-16 and F22s.

“The assets available in that area are the toughest in the world.

“It will be a huge test and a great opportunity for us too.”

This is the first time that pilots from XI Squadron have arrived in Bermuda in their long history that dates back to 1915.

And it comes just a few months after the Squadron was tasked with helping to police the London Olympics.

This was also Wing Commander Well’s first experience of flying into LF Wade International Airport.

He said: “It was plain sailing on the way over from the Azores and the approach into Bermuda was fantastic.

“The island looked absolutely beautiful on the way in — the colour of the sea was just incredible.

“Being able to bring a Typhoon into Bermuda is a pretty special feeling.”

The first wave of Typhoons leave Bermuda today but they will be back on island in March as they travel back to their base in Lincolnshire, England.