USAF and Turkish Air Force jointly conduct first refuelling mission


redflag 16-2

The US Air Force (USAF) and the Turkish Air Force have completed their first-ever refuelling mission over the Nevada Test and Training Range, northeast of Nellis Air Force Base.

The forces jointly flew KC-135 Stratotankers together in formation as a part of a national air-to-air combat training exercise, code-named Red Flag 16-2.

USAF 344th ARS pilot captain Alex Durstein said: "The ability to interoperate air refuelling operations with our Turkish allies showcases a distinct capability while demonstrating new methods of tanker employment.

"The lessons learned at Red Flag will help advance integration with our Nato partners and provide future coalition combatant commanders with increased operational flexibility."

During the procedure, the tanker units of the two countries witnessed the operational differences and nature of missions of the nations.

"This Red Flag flight will be remembered as an example of the cooperation between allies."

Turkish Air Force 101st Air Refuelling Squadron commander major Orcun Kus said: "I am very thankful we had the opportunity to make history with this flight between our aircraft and our nations.

"This Red Flag flight will be remembered as an example of the cooperation between allies."

Designed to train pilots and other flight crew members from the US, Nato, and other allied countries for real air combat situations, the Red Flag involves a battle space recreation to enable the air force personnel to display their abilities in a deployed scenario.

Divided into two teams, Blue Forces and Red Forces, the participants perform counter air, precision strike and offensive air support in packages of up to 100 aircraft during each exercise.


Image: US and Turkish Air force crews during Red Flag 16-2. Photo: US Air Force photo / Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua.