The Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), a major command of the US Air Force (USAF), has completed RED FLAG-Alaska 20-3 exercise.

As part of the exercise, the participants conducted approximately 560 sorties, completing nearly 1,500 flying hours.

The exercise was designed to help the pilots hone their skills and boost combat confidence.

353rd Combat Training Squadron commander Lt Col Gregory Hunger said: “The exercise went amazing. We had a lot of challenges, the biggest one being Covid-19, but we were able to overcome that.

“We were able to reduce the footprint of Covid-19 without sacrificing the training and the high-end combat capability that participants will walk away with.”

RED FLAG-Alaska is a series of PACAF-directed field training exercises that involves providing counter-air, interdiction, close air support and large force employment training to the forces in a simulated combat environment.

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Usually, the planning of RED FLAG-Alaska begins eight months before the exercise. However, this time, the forces had a shorter time period to prepare.

Hunger added: “For this exercise, it was six weeks prior when we were given the ‘go-ahead’ and what the units were going to be doing.

“The team at the 353rd CTS and the whole 354th Fighter Wing pitched in to make it happen.”

In the two-week-long exercise, the participating aircraft included of F-35A Lightning IIs from Eielson, Hill AFB from Utah and F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Additionally, B-1 Lancers and KC-135 Stratotankers supported combat scenarios in the exercise.