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Military

Joint forces combine for Red Flag-Alaska exercise

by Senior Airman Justin Weaver
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


5/31/2007 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFPN) -- More than 1,400 military members from the United States, Singapore and Australia converged on Alaska May 31 to sharpen their collective warfighting edge in Red Flag-Alaska 07-2, which runs through June 15.

Red Flag-Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. forces and allies, provides joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support and large-force employment training in a simulated combat environment.

"Red Flag brings units from all over the world to a central location and provides them an opportunity to work together in a training environment considered one of the most demanding in the world," said Col. William Wignall, air expeditionary commander for the exercise.

"The Red Flag-Alaska team has developed several outstanding scenarios against high-end threats that will challenge the most seasoned pilots and aircrew," the colonel said. "Additionally, these exercises give the maintenance and support personnel an opportunity to practice several wartime tasks in helping them to be better prepared for their next AEF."

Exercises are conducted on the Pacific Alaskan Range Complex with air operations flown out of Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force bases.

The exercise construct has Air Force, Navy and Singapore and Australian military units organize as an air expeditionary wing at Eielson AFB with a subordinate air expeditionary group at Elmendorf AFB.

"I think the most important thing each participant should take away from this exercise is the pride and confidence to successfully plan and execute a complex mission in a joint/coalition environment against highly capable threats," Colonel Wignall said. "When Airmen leave this Red Flag-Alaska exercise, they will be better prepared to engage the enemy anywhere, anytime."

International observers from Malaysia and Norway will also be on hand to see how U.S. and coalition forces work together during Red Flag-Alaska to aid in their decision to become future exercise participants.

"The international observer program allows foreign countries the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of PACAF's largest joint and combined air combat exercise," said Capt. Ron Strobach, Red Flag-Alaska team chief. "If interested, observers can then incorporate their aircraft, personnel and air combat tactics into future exercises, thus promoting better training and closer relations." 



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