EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA -- Oct. 19, 2018, marks the conclusion of the first iteration of RED FLAG-Alaska for fiscal year 2019.
During RF-A 19-1, Republic of Korea air force, Finnish air force and U.S. forces integrated to conduct realistic air combat training, which allowed for the exchange of tactics and techniques while strengthening relations between partner nations.
The exercise introduced the Finnish air force to their first RED FLAG exercise, exchanging valuable lessons and giving their pilots an opportunity to test their skills against the 18th Aggressor Squadron.
“The Finnish air force has been planning to participate in this exercise for almost 10 years; for me it’s a really big thing to be here in Alaska for RED FLAG,” said Finnish air force Col. Timo Herranen. “I want our Finnish pilots and technicians to learn to cooperate with the U.S. Air Force in a complex air operations environment.”
There were also new training opportunities due to the integration with the Arctic Anvil exercise. A U.S. Army exercise, which took place at the same time, designed to prepare soldiers for at the Army’s National Training Center.
“Several of the key points in Arctic Anvil corresponded to sorties during Red Flag Alaska 19-1,” said Capt. Daniel Thompson, the RF-A 19-1 team chief. “We then designed our flying operations to support the objectives of the ground forces commander.”
Throughout RF-A 19-1 airmen from more than a dozen units flew and supported sorties throughout the Joint Pacific Alaska Pacific Range Complex, strengthening partnerships, exchanging tactics and honing their combat capabilities.