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June 28, 2022

US PACAF-sponsored exercise Red Flag-Alaska 22-2 concludes

The Red Flag exercise provides realistic combat training for air and space operations in a simulated environment.

The US Air Force’s (USAF) major command Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) has concluded the two-week-long exercise, Red Flag-Alaska (RF-A) 22-2.

The latest iteration involved around 1,600 service members to fly, maintain and support more than 70 aircraft from across 22 units.

The primary flight and ground operations were conducted in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC). The exercise was held between 9 and 24 June.

The JPARC provides around 77,000 square miles of airspace and terrain for training aviators and supporting personnel.

The complex is suitable for testing individual and complex joint-engagement skills, as well as for practising weapons usage over three bomb ranges and ground training areas.

During the exercise, the majority of aircraft were based at and flew from the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in Alaska.

USAF 51st Operations Group commander and RF-A 22-2 flight commander colonel Matthew Gaetke said: “Day one was rough, we pressed these people hard to deal with conditions they weren’t used to, but with every sortie, they learned a little more and worked together a bit better, and now in the final days here, this joint-force team is a well-oiled machine that keeps making the mission happen no matter what is thrown at them.”

The exercise also witnessed various maintainers working together to ensure the safety and maintenance of the participating aircraft.

The RF-A exercises aim to simulate a deployment to a contested environment and allow the participants to meet the battlefield strategy demands and ever-changing mission needs.

Apart from the US, Singapore Air Force personnel also took part in the exercise.

The training further allowed the participants to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while enhancing interoperability.

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