An F-16C from the 51st Pacific Air Force based out of Osan in Korea, takes off on the first mission for Exercise Red Flag Alaska 11-2. The 51st are playing the friendly force during the air combat training exercise.
Seven F/A-18 Hornets from RAAF Williamtowns No 3 Squadron in NSW are participating in world-class air combat training in the skies above Alaska from 11 until 22 July. The fighter jets will operate from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to participate in the most advanced international air combat training activity, Exercise Red Flag.
Red Flag is a United States Pacific Air Forces Command led large force employment exercise designed to replicate a high-end combat environment. This is one of the largest exercises Australia will participate in this year. It provides the ultimate environment in which our Air Force personnel can showcase their extraordinary abilities in a deployed scenario. Regular participation in the Red Flag exercise series is a major contributor to Australias high standard of air combat capability.
Aircrew will be exposed to large force employment on a scale not possible in Australia, when they perform counter air, precision strike and offensive air support in packages of up to 100 aircraft. The exercise also provides invaluable training for logistics, support and maintenance personnel as they are able to practice deploying to another country and working together with other Air Forces. The coalition exercise will involve participants from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
Red Flag Alaska is a large-forces exercise conducted in interior Alaska to simulate air combat. Aircrews will be operating in the 67,000 square-mile Joint Alaska Pacific Range Complex, which offers adequate space and ranges for crews to simulate full-scale aerial battles. Australia last participated in Red Flag Alaska in 2008 and has participated in the exercise series since 1980.