Inside The Gates: Red Flag-Alaska wraps up second operation exercise of the year

In total, three countries, 70 aircraft, and 1,600 service members participated in the Red Flag-Alaska 22-2.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:59 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Red Flag-Alaska 22-2 wrapped up their second operation of the year on June 24 after conducting simulated combat exercises with other American and foreign military forces.

The Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise ran from June 9-24. Each year, Red Flag-Alaska will run between two to four air combat exercise operations, which focus on giving air crews their first 10 combat-like “sorties.”

June’s Red Flag operation included participation from the Republic of Singapore Air Force. In total, three countries, 70 aircraft, and 1,600 service members participated in the Red Flag-Alaska 22-2. The combination of working with foreign military forces gives military personnel from Alaska an inside look at how operations in combat may work while working with foreign identities.

“In any future conflict we are going to rely on air partners and allies across the world and they operate differently than we do, just between us and other English-speaking nations there are significant differences in what words mean, how they fly, and this is a good chance for us to see them do that,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Weigel said.

However, the big event for Red Flag 22-2 was the airdrop operation portion of the exercise where members of the new 11th Airborne Division participated in an airfield seize.

“Dropping almost 500 paratroopers into Allen Army airfield to seize that airfield, so that was a huge movement,” Weigel said. “Most of the loading and stuff took place here at JBER and then they were supported by fighters and other aircraft outside of Eielson.”

Red Flag is now preparing for their next operation — Red Flag 22-3 — which is set to take place at the end of July. This operation will include participation from the Royal Australian Air Force. In addition, the operation will also include technical scenarios.

“We’re going to put some of the best threats that we have in the United States aggressor squadron and the range training facility that we have out there to make the most challenging scenario,” Weigel said.

According to Weigel, he expects Red Flag 22-3 to be their most challenging Red Flag operation of the year.

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