Uniting forces at Red Flag-Alaska 23-3

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Megan Estrada
  • 354th Fighter Wing

Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska – After two weeks of hard work, countless take-offs and around the clock maintenance, Red Flag-Alaska 23-3 has come to a close. The exercise ran from August 14-25 with events taking place at Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

This iteration of Red Flag-Alaska focused heavily on the interoperability and use of 5th Generation aircraft between U.S. partners and allies. Service members from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Australian Air Force teamed up to improve combat readiness and strengthen international relationships.

“Integration and interoperability are huge objectives of Red Flag,” said Col. Curtis Dougherty, Red Flag deployed forces commander. “Any future conflict is going to be conducted with our allies and partners. Red Flag gives us the opportunity to test tactics, techniques and procedures together so that in the event of a coalition when our allied and joint partners have to get together and execute our nation's calling, we are ready on day one.”

Red Flag-Alaska enables the U.S. and its partners to communicate and execute missions in person to gain a deeper understanding of how to work cohesively in a simulated high pressure environment.

“The mission sets that we’re doing here are complex,” said RAAF Wing Commander Paul Simmons, No. 77 Commanding Officer. “The ability to come to Alaska where they have the most realistic training environment, and work with fellow F-35 operators to test international logistics systems is incredibly powerful. These exercises build relationships, knowledge and confidence in the team that when called on they can get the job done.”

The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex enabled service members to train from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagements. The JPARC airspace covers more than 77,000 square miles and provides a realistic training environment through its vast airspace, varied terrain and advanced range complexes.

“This is as close as we can get to simulating real-world conditions,” said Dougherty. “This is our opportunity to dry run real world events, and to learn the call signs, the people, the organizations and their personalities. We, and the entire Red Flag enterprise, come together to figure out how we can do business better over the course of this two-week exercise.”