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The Royal Air Force’s Number 12 Squadron has today flown alongside the Qatari Emiri Air Force as part of a large display over Qatar’s capital city Doha.  The flypast is part of the Qatar National Day celebrations and represents a landmark moment.  

A trio of Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafale aircraft releasing flares over Doha as part of the Qatar National Day flypast.

12 Squadron was re-established on 24th July 2018 and will shortly become a joint Royal Air Force, Qatari Emiri Air Force squadron that will integrate personnel from both nations.  This is the first time that the squadron has flown in Qatar since becoming a formed unit.

The Qatari display team passing in front of the Doha skyline as part of the Qatar National Day flypast.

The squadron will prepare the QEAF for the standing up of its first purely Qatari operated Typhoon squadron by 2022.  This will be done in time for the delivery of 24 state of the art aircraft that Qatar purchased from the UK last year.

12 Squadron’s participation in the event further cements the already strong ties between the UK and Qatar.  It also provided an unrivalled first opportunity to fly side-by-side with some of QEAF’s most experienced pilots.

Officer Commanding 12 Squadron Wing Commander Chris Wright

“We greatly enjoyed the privilege of participation in the Qatari National Day Flypast over Doha, witnessed by His Excellency the Emir of Qatar. The celebrations surrounding this day have been a sight to behold – the Qatari national pride is evident at literally every street corner. We have loved playing our small part and are already looking forward to next year when 12 Sqn will return to Qatar with our own Qatari pilots and groundcrew.”

Wing Commander Chris Wright, Officer Commanding Number 12 Squadron
Qatar Emiri Air Force C-130J Hercules flying over the Doha skyline.

“With the success of our co-operation here and the Qatari National Day Flypast, I hope our colleagues in the QEAF have enjoyed working with us. I am personally looking forward to our two countries working together and the learning opportunities the Joint Squadron presents.” 

Flight Lieutenant Helen Seaman, Junior Engineering Officer 12 Squadron

The next phase of joint training will take place in the UK at RAF Coningsby.

© Crown Copyright 2019

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