RED FLAG-Alaska 21-3 exercise concludes at Alaska base
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RED FLAG-Alaska 21-3 exercise concludes at Alaska base

31 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 31st, 2021 12:35)

This iteration of the exercise involved the Royal Australian Air Force and several US military units.

The final iteration of this year’s RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) multinational exercise has successfully concluded at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

RF-A is a series of field training exercises involving counter-air, close air support and large force employment training for forces in a simulated combat environment.

The exercises are intended to help enhance interoperability and demonstrate air dominance in the Indo-Pacific region.

Around 1,800 US and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel took part in the RF-A 21-3 iteration, as well as more than 80 jets from more than 20 units.

The exercise was sponsored by Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), a major command of the US Air Force.

The latest iteration of RED FLAG exercises is the first to feature F-35 Lighting II joint strike fighters from the RAAF and fifth-generation aircraft from the US.

Although RF-A 21-3 included only US and Australian forces, armed services from other ally and partner countries have participated in previous RED FLAG exercises.

RAAF Squadron Leader II Squadron Detachment commander John Thornton said: “RED FLAG provides an excellent opportunity for our two countries in continuing to improve our interoperability and integration.

“Not only does this include the aircraft flying the missions, but also between all the support personnel from both countries like the intelligence and maintenance teams.

“This integration and interoperability is essential in developing an intelligent and skilled workforce that is ready to deliver air power when called upon.”

US Air Force Major Gregory Weigel said: “This exercise was a great opportunity for us to work closely with units from Australia and from all around the United States, showing our resolve to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open.”

RF-A exercises take place three to four times a year. The majority of take-offs during the exercises happen from either Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson or Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.