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Amalgam Warrior

AMALGAM WARRIOR (AW) is a CINCNORAD-sponsored, CJCS- approved and -funded, large-scale live-fly exercise normally involving two or more NORAD regions. They are designed to exercise air sovereignty and air defense. Emphasis is placed on realistic target flow employing electronic warfare and other penetration tactics. Functions exercised include, but are not limited to, surveillance, detection, tracking, interception, employing rules of engagement, force generation, counterdrug operations, attack warning, attack assessment, counter cruise mis-sile operations and CONPLAN implementation. Two AW exercises are scheduled each year.

Members from Elmendorf's 3rd Wing and Eielson AFB's 354th Wing joined nearly 300 aircrews, maintenance and support people participating in exercise Amalgam Warrior 95-02. The two-day exercise that began April 25 included Elmendorf's 54th Fighter Squadron flying F-15s, the 517th Airlift Squadron flying C-130s and the 962nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron. An element from the 11th Air Force battlestaff component also participated. The exercise was to demonstrate and evaluate the North American Aerospace Defense Command's ability to deploy and employ joint reaction forces and main defense forces as a military response to an evolving crisis. Other units participating included Eielson's 18th Fighter Squadron flying F-16s, the 355 Fighter Squadron flying OA-10s, the 354th Civil Engineering Squadron, the 96th Bomb Squadron flying B-52s from Barksdale AFB, La.; KC-10s from March AFB, Calif.; and Canadian C-137s. B-1s operating from Fairchild AFB, Wash., also participated. Most of the deployed forces operated from Eielson AFB.

NORAD, composed of US and Canadian forces, prepares and practices through continuous training and a realistic exercise program. The biggest of these exercises is Amalgam Warrior, which is held twice annually -- once in the fall for the East Coast and in the spring for the West Coast. The five-day Amalgam Warrior 96-1 concluded on Oct. 20, and put Americans and Canadians through their paces, challenging forces in the areas that coincide with NORAD's missions. The exercise was conducted in real time with a fictitious world political scenario, which prompts NORAD forces to transition from a peacetime posture to a war-fighting stance. The threat escalates from tracking unknown aircraft, which have incorrectly filed their flight plans or wandered off course, and in-flight emergencies to terrorist aircraft attacks and large-scale bomber strike missions.

Amalgam Warrior 96-1 tested a large number of participants from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and Canadian Forces. The controlling headquarters involved included NORAD headquarters; Cheyenne Mountain; Northeastern Air Defense Sector, Griffiss AFB, N.Y.; and the Canada East Air Defense Sector, CFB North Bay, Canada. Primary units taking part in the exercise were the 101st Fighter Squadron, flying F-15s out of their home station Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass. The 170th FS's Fly'n Illini, an F-16 squadron from Springfield ANG, Ill., also operated out of the Cape Cod base during Amalgam Warrior.

At Goose Bay, located in Canada's far north, CF-18s from the 3rd Wing at Bagotville, Quebec teamed up with F-16s from the 119th Fighter Squadron, Atlantic City ANG, N.J. The 7th Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, took six B-1 bombers to Bagotville to play in the exercise. Other aircraft flying in Amalgam Warrior included E-3 AWACS, B-52s, C-141s, KC-10s, KC-135s and P-3s.

Four B-1 bombers from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrived at Eielson Oct. 27, 2000 to take part in the Amalgam Warrior annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise. The bombers played "red" aggressor forces during the three-day exercise. F-15s from the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB will represent the "blue" forces. Exercise scenarios called for the B-1s to fly over Bristol Bay then back over Alaska. The B-1s made several passes coming in from Bristol Bay, which prompted NORAD forces to transition from a peacetime posture to a war-fighting stance. NORAD forces went from tracking unknown aircraft to sending up F-15 fighters, which sit alert year round to counter a large-scale bomber strike mission. Employing the alert aircraft also gave the pilots a chance to fly against dissimilar aircraft. Two KC-135s from the Alaskan Air National Guard's 168th Air Refueling Wing supported the "blue" forces, while a tanker from 319th Air Refueling Wing at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., supported the B-1s. An Alaskan ANG C-130 from Elmendorf provided rescue capability.



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