‘Wolf Pack’ prepares for Alaska training sortie at Red Flag 22-2

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
  • ‘Wolf Pack’ at Red Flag 22-2
A dozen F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 35th Fighter Squadron, belonging to 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, are prepped by maintainer Airmen from the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prior to an integrated aerial training sortie at Eielson Air Force Base, June 14, 2022.

Red Flag exercises are held multiple times a year and are designed to give air and ground units the opportunity to hone skills, integrate with joint and allied forces, and improve combat readiness.

“Red Flag is critical for a fighter squadron to test its combat readiness, not just pilots, but everyone on the team that makes the mission happen,” said 1st Lt. Marcus “Toro” Orozco, 35th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot. “The most valuable aspect is being able to integrate the strengths of other squadron’s aircraft into our mission plan, to be better working together as a joint-force team. These lessons will make everyone better at executing our home station missions.”

The 35th FS at Red Flag is supported by the 35th AMU, which deploys alongside their assigned aircraft to provide uninterrupted support of the F-16s, providing 360 maintenance, fuel, munitions, and repairs to keep the training sorties flying reliably.

“We’re here to support our pilots getting vital flying experience with other squadrons and allied forces aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Taylor Laney, 35th AMU flightline expediter. “We also get to work alongside maintainers from all over, and from other branches too, so we get to see how the Navy does it, how allied forces work their aircraft … it’s amazing to be a part of that.”

Squadrons utilizing F-16s can have varied roles during joint air sorties, as the aircraft is capable of fighting air-to-air and air-to-ground, can be outfitted to have greater range, improved sensor capabilities, and operate in all weather conditions.

At Red Flag, the F-16 plays roles of providing escort protection to support aircraft, intercepting adversary fighters, and can support ground troops with its M61 Vulcan cannon.