Red Flag 22-2 underway at Eielson

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Red Flag-Alaska 22-2, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise and the second of its kind this year, has started and is expected to run June 9- 24, with primary flight and ground operations in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.

Red Flag-Alaska is designed to provide realistic training essential to the success of air and space operations in a simulated combat environment. The JPARC is the ideal environment to train aviators and supporting personnel, with over 77,000 square miles of airspace and terrain to test individual and complex joint-engagement skills.

“We don’t have the luxury of picking our fights,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Thomas Wolfe, 354th Fighter Wing vice commander. “The next two weeks of training will put our pilots and ground crews through many scenarios, test our teamwork, but ultimately give hundreds of service members and visiting allied forces the experience we need as a unified force to remain ready to face any challenge thrown our way.”

Approximately 1,600 service members are expected to fly, maintain and support more than 70 aircraft from 22 units during this iteration of the exercise. The majority of aircraft will be based at and fly from Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“We’re here to create combat ready forces,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Joshua Wood, 51st Fighter Wing commander, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. “The Red Flag exercise exists to have joint-coalition forces practice how to defeat adversaries with air power. We’re all here for that simple reason, and together we’ll get it done.”

In addition to the U.S., service members from the Republic of Singapore Air Force are scheduled to participate, enabling the exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability with fellow Airmen.

Red Flag-Alaska exercises have a history that’s decades long, proving its ability to provide unique opportunities to integrate various forces in a realistic threat environment and dates back to 1975, when it was called Exercise Cope Thunder and held at Clark Air Base, Philippines.