January 21, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - Air Force Times reports the first four of a dozen Aggressor F-16s have arrived at Eielson Air Force Base on Sunday to form up as part of the new 18th Aggressor Squadron.
Two F-16s including F-16C block 30 #86-0293 from 18 AS flies in formation with their Artic Flanker paint schemes along the side of a KC-135 Stratotanker after refueling on their way to a new home at Eielson AFB on January 20, 2008.
"If everything goes well, all the aircraft will be here Wednesday," said Col. Mark Moore, commander of the 354th Operations Group.
The block 30
F-16s arrived on Sunday after a long & delayed journey from Kunsan Air Base in South Korea
. Leading the formation was the commander of the new squadron Lt. Col. Patrick Welch.
The new paint schemes which adorns each jet are designed to simulate the "enemy" in Red Flag training exercises which will be held several times a year at Eielson and will include other squadrons from the US and air forces from around the world.
"We'll be playing the bad guys to help train the rest of the Air Force," Welch said.
When the squadron isn't taking part in the local Red Flag exercises then it will got on two-week "road shows" at other Air Force installations.
The F-16 swap out which involved Eielson exchanging its block 40 CCIP
upgraded F-16s for Kunsan's older block 30s was part of the transition which has had Eielson's turning into a training facility.
Moore said the Pacific Alaska Range Complex training area, roughly the size of Kansas, provides the largest training air and ground space in the nation.
The Red Flag exercises can include as many as 90 aircraft and upto 1600 participants. The next Red Flag exercise is scheduled to take place in April and will host participants from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.