After freezing temperatures and snowfall delayed the start of Red Flag-Alaska on Monday, the Air Force’s premier flight training event kicked off with U.S. fighter, mobility and tanker units responding to real life combat scenarios alongside KF-16s from the Republic of Korea Air Force.
The exercise is the highest level training for integrating international forces against “red” force enemies for combat missions.
Crews took off Monday afternoon after the morning flights were canceled by the snow and temperatures that dipped into the teens. The training exercise will run for the next two weeks.
“We use exercises like Red Flag to allow us to train together; learn the nuances in each other’s languages; merge our tactics, techniques and procedures; and experience the flavor of tactics that each service or nationl brings to the fight so we can learn from each other, better integrate with each other and eventually better fight alongside each other,” said Lt. Col. A.J. Pelkington, the deputy deployed forces commander for Red Flag and 8th Operations Support Squadron commander at Kunsan Air Force Base, Korea.
The Red Flag exercise includes F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson, F-16s from the 35th Fighter Squadron at Kunsan, the ROK’s KF-16Ds, KC-135s from the 168th Air Refueling Squadron at Eielson, Marine Corps AV-8Bs from VMA-311 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, E/A-18Gs from VAQ-133 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, joint terminal attack controllers from the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and HH-60Gs from the 210th Rescue Squadron at Elmendorf.
Elmendorf also is hosting E-3 Sentrys from the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron from that base and the 961st AACS from Kadena Air Base, Japan; C-17s from Elmendorf; C-130Js from the 41st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas; C-130Hs from the Republic of Korea Air Force; MC-130Ns from the 211th Rescue Squadron at Elmendorf; and C-130Hs from the 700th Airlift Squadron at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.
Additionally, soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airbone), 25th Infantry Division at Elmendorf-Richarson will participate.