US Air Force plane spotted over English coast above North Sea in ‘special air mission’


Designed as an “office in the sky”, the C-40B is used by the United States Air Force to transport government and senior military leaders around the world

US Air Force plane scrambled over English coast above North Sea on ‘Special Air Mission’

A US Air Force plane on a “special air mission” has been spotted flying over the coast of England.

The Boeing C-40B plane was tracked flying eastwards over Tendring on Friday morning, reaching 31,000 feet.

Taking off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, US, it landed at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands.

Designed as an “office in the sky”, the C-40B is used by the United States Air Force to transport government and senior military leaders around the world.

It’s similar in design to a commercial Boeing 737-700 business plane, apart from the C-40B can use 27,000 pounds of thrust and reach a cruising speed of 322mph.

Its altitude reaches 41,000 feet.

This week NATO allies collaborated with Finland and Sweden for an exercise in the skies over Estonia, called Ramstein Alloy.

The exercise saw air force personnel undertake training, air-to-air refueling and the escort of an airplane with damaged communication.

Along with Swedish and Finnish air forces, there were crews and aircraft from the Czech Republic, France, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Belgium and the UK.







US Air Force plane scrambled over English coast above North Sea on ‘Special Air Mission’
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Image:

Courtesy United States Air Force/Captain Stan Paregien)

Lieutenant Colonel Ru Streatfeild, who is leading NATO’s battlegroup in Estonia, said British troops were “buzzing” and immensely proud” to be helping reinforce the country’s eastern border with Russia.

The Baltic State recently deployed troops led by the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh.

On Thursday they participated in a large-scale exercise at Tapa military base, just 70 miles from the Russian border.

Exercise Bold Dragon saw about 2,300 soldiers from among UK, French, Danish and Estonian ranks use tanks, armored infantry, engineers, artillery and logistics.

Allied forces went head-to-head against the Estonians in the mud, snow and bog-like conditions to further sharpen NATO’s war expertise.

When asked if NATO forces were ready for a Russian invasion, Lieutenant Colonel Streatfeild told The Express: “One hundred per cent.







A Typhoon jet of the Royal Air Force takes off at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta, Romania
(

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

“There is swagger. They are on their game and they are ready.

“It is not that people revel in this. But soldiers want to do a job. They want to put their tradecraft into practice.

“This is what they join the Army to do.”

He added that the soldiers felt immensely proud to be in Estonia.

Lieutenant Colonel Streatfeild continued: “It is an immense privilege. But it is also an immense responsibility.”

Approximately 2,000 NATO troops are based in Estonia, including the Royal Danish Army Viking Company and the French 7th Alpine Hunter Battalion.

On Wednesday, Estonian officials called for NATO member states to double the number of soldiers in the country to deter Russia from advancing further into Europe.

Lance Corporal Rhydian Stephens, from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, is attached to the Royal Welsh as a B-company medic.







A Typhoon jet of the Royal Air Force flies over the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta, Romania
(

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “We heard the news about the war when we were out doing training exercises in Germany and obviously people got excited. It’s what we joined the army to do.

“We joined the army to help. But for now we’re just watching what’s happening on the news and doing what we need to do here in Estonia first.”

Gunner Joe Watson, 19, of Wakefield said: “I am proud to be here. I think a lot of the Estonians are very grateful that lots of the British Army are here, especially the armored units.

“And this makes you quite proud to be in this job.

“I’ve got quite a small family, they are dealing with it quite well. My dad is obviously proud. They are all quite proud to be fair.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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