The First of Four Red Flag-Alaska Exercises Scheduled for 2018 Was Held

WASHINGTON (the USA), May 18, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Senior Airman Isaac Johnson/U.S. Air Force

The first of four scheduled for 2018 exercises, Red Flag-Alaska 18-1, was held from 30th April to 11th May, reported Defense News.

The other three exercises, Red Flag-Alaska 18-2, 18-3 and 19-1 are scheduled for June 11 – 22, 2018, Aug. 11 – 24, 2018, and Oct. 8 – 19, 2018 respectively.

This was the first time in the history of Red Flag-Alaska when the U.S. Air Force and Army together with NATO allies demonstrated a joint capability.

Red Flag-Alaska is a unique initiative that provides a more realistic operational training environment.

The radar technician, Staff Sgt. Ryan Goll, explained, “Red Flag-Alaska provides the type of training that is only replicable in real-life combat situations. It’s a really good example of the air-to-air component. Tracking enemy fighters and actually getting our communications gear jammed — this is more than your typical sortie or exercise; Red Flag is the most realistic training you’re going to get.”

And the air battle manager, Capt. Noel Conrard, added, “When we are at home station [training] it’s like a backyard football scrimmage; we just don’t have as many players. But at a large force exercise like Red Flag-Alaska, it’s like playing on a regular sized football field. We execute different tactics and integrate with more assets. It allows the E-3 to be used to the fullest extent of its capabilities.”