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Pakistan sends F-16s to Turkey for exercise

September 30, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Pakistan has sent six of its F-16 fighters to Konya Air Base, Turkey to participate in a joint military exercise codenamed "Anatolian Eagle" which is held from 27 September untill 08 October.

Besides Pakistan, the air forces of the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey are also joining the exercise.

The Duth Air Force will take part in this exercise with F-16s from the 313 'Tiger' squadron based at Twenthe.

The participants will simulate air battle scenarios in demanding operational environments. The fortnight-long exercise should help train Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officers and men and serve as "a milestone in strengthening ties between countries participating" in the manoeuvre.

PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat will visit Turkey to witness the air operations.

The PAF has earlier participated in multi-national exercises with the United States, the United Kingdom, Iran and Turkey.

The first Anatolian Eagle exercise by the United States, Turkey, and Israel took place over southern Turkey for 13 days ending 29 June 2001. Since then, Anatolian Eagle has become an annual event, open to NATO air forces.

The range has at present been fully developed into a simulated hostile environment.

The USAFE weapons training range near Konya Air Base, is located some 260 kilometers (162 miles) south of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and about 140 miles northwest of Incirlik Air Base. The range is a facility for training in surface attack tactics and weapons employment. USAFE and the Turkish Air Force jointly use the range.

Konya was also host to the live-flying exercise NATO Air Meet 04 which took place from 04 untill 16 September 2004.

Additional images:

PAF F-16B block 15 #85610 is coming back from a training mission equipped with an ALTIS pod on the chin station. [PAF photo by Abbas Ali]