By Senior Airman Eric M. Fisher, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 19, 2019
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Liddane, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, prepares for in-flight refueling during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 7, 2019. The exercise provides unique opportunities to integrate various forces into joint, coalition and multilateral training from simulated forward deployed air operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks)
U.S. Airmen assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for a mission during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 7, 2019. RF-A is a Pacific Air Forces-directed field training exercise for U.S. and partner forces flown under simulated air combat conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks)
An SA-8 Surface-to-Air missile system sits in the Yukon Training Area near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska Aug. 7, 2019. The training areas near the base are outfitted with various weapons systems designed to replicate threats for aircraft participating in RED FLAG-Alaska exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Isaac Johnson)
Red Flag-Alaska 19-3, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise designed to provide realistic training in a simulated combat environment, concluded, Aug. 16, 2019.
“For RF-A 19-3 we have participating units from the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Loren Keisling, RF-A 19-3 team chief.
More than 1,500 service members and 100 aircraft participated from more than 12 different units stationed around the world. The exercise enabled each unit to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while also providing the opportunity to improve interoperability with joint and combined forces.
RF-A 19-3 was the first iteration of the exercise to include agile combat employment scenarios, which involve landing an aircraft in an austere environment with a maintenance team to refuel and rearm without typical base infrastructure.
“Red Flag-Alaska is our National Defense Strategy in action,” said Col. Benjamin Bishop, 354th Fighter Wing commander. “Being able to exercise capabilities like agile combat employment in a deliberately challenging exercise environment enables our team to build a more lethal force with joint and international partners.”
Red Flag-Alaska has provided U.S. and international partners the opportunity to integrate their forces in a realistic threat environment since its inception as COPE THUNDER in 1975.
The next season of RF-A kicks off in the spring of 2020.