The US Department of Defense (DoD) has commenced its Checkered Flag 22-2 air-to-air exercise at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida.

Designed to examine and support the US Immediate Response Force’s (IRF) air combat capabilities, the exercise will take place between 9 to 20 May 2022.

325th Fighter Wing Checkered Flag exercise director Mark Hayes said: “The goal is to gather these forces that could deploy worldwide as part of the next IRF and have them train together as a team, integrating fourth- and fifth-generation capabilities, and learn from each other, to prepare for deployment taskings.”

The exercise will see the participation of at least 11 units of the Department of the Air Force (DAF), along with the US Navy and other mission-support partners.

Among the US Air Force (USAF) participants are fifth-generation fighter airframes, including F-35A Lightning II and F-22 Raptor; as well as fourth-generation fighter aircraft F-15C Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons.

The US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets along with other tanker aircraft and joint command and control aircraft will also be a part of the exercise.

Checkered Flag 22-2 is being hosted and executed by the 325th Fighter Wing (FW), with the USAF’s Air Combat Command (ACC) being the leading authority for the exercise.

ACC will work in coordination with different departments, headquarters, and other major commands (MAJCOM) to schedule the exercises.

Furthermore, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group will also host a Weapons System Evaluation Programme 22.08 with the Checkered Flag exercise.

All the exercises will jointly allow the participating forces to focus their efforts and maximise the training value.