RAF and Royal Navy will help keep fans safe at Qatar World Cup, MoD says


The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will help ensure the safety of fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the government has announced.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the RAF and Navy would help counter terrorism and other threats for the tournament, which is due to take place in the country from November 21 to December 18.

The announcement comes after the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, visited the UK last week and met Boris Johnson.

The move will include Royal Navy maritime security support, advanced site-finding training, operational planning and command and control support, and other specialist advice.

The RAF will support counter-terrorism efforts through air security operations alongside the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF), the MoD has revealed.

Joint Typhoon Squadron, also known as 12 Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and operated by RAF and QEAF pilots, will be deployed to deal with threats to supporters.

This joint squadron was formed in June 2020 and exercised regularly in Qatar. The World Cup rollout coincides with one already planned, the MoD said.

The QEAF oversees aviation security for the World Cup, carrying out the majority of operations.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Ensuring citizens around the world can enjoy the World Cup, Britain and Qatar will join forces to provide air policing in the skies above the tournament.

“I am delighted that our joint squadron with the Qatari Emirati Air Force Typhoons will be patrolling the airspace during the tournament.”

The MoD said Qatar is the only partner with which the RAF operates joint squadrons – Qatari Emiri Air Force 11 Squadron, RAF Leeming Joint Hawk Training Squadron and RAF Leeming 12 Squadron, Joint Typhoon Squadron. RAF Coningsby.

These partnerships aim to increase the number of flying hours of RAF personnel, provide the Qatari Air Force with access to RAF-accredited training, and see long-term investments in infrastructure and RAF training facilities.