An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Aug. 17, 2020

RED FLAG-Alaska 20-3 Comes to a Close

By Senior Airman Beaux Hebert and Airman 1st Class Aaron Guerrisky 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska 20-3, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise, concluded Aug. 14, 2020.

Flying participants completed roughly 560 sorties and racked up approximately 1,500 flying hours which contributed to the pilots gaining the confidence needed to execute combat operations.

“The exercise went amazing. We had a lot of challenges, the biggest one being COVID, but we were able to overcome that,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Hunger, the 353rd Combat Training Squadron commander. “We were able to reduce the footprint of COVID without sacrificing the training and the high-end combat capability that participants will walk away with.”

Typically, planning for a RF-A begins eight months prior to an exercise, but planning was compacted into a much shorter time period for this iteration.

“For this exercise, it was six weeks prior when we were given the ‘go ahead’ and what the units were going to be doing,” said Hunger. “The team at the 353rd CTS and the whole 354th Fighter Wing pitched in to make it happen.”

This iteration of RF-A may have been smaller in comparison to previous years; however, fifth-generation participants ensured there was no shortage of airpower for blue air. The lineup consisted of F-35A Lightning IIs from Eielson and Hill AFB, Utah, along with F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

B-1 Lancers assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron out of Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to the 97th Air Refueling Squadron out of Fairchild AFB, Washington, and the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th ARS supported combat scenarios throughout the two-week exercise.

In addition to all the action in the sky, survival, evasion, reconnaissance and escape (SERE) Airmen assisted special operations personnel with ground operations.

“Anytime we get a chance to participate in RED FLAG it's instrumental to our training ” Maj. Matthew Roland, a 37th BS B-1 pilot. “We get to integrate with additional fifth-generation fighters and see the realistic air war. It presents us a new picture and we can train to a more realistic situation.”

The 18th AGRS runs the red side of RF-A. Its mission, which is to know, teach and replicate threats to prepare pilots for real-world enemy forces stayed the same, but the squadron’s F-16 Fighting Falcons elevated training with their new teammates.

“One of the main ways we are going to challenge the fifth-generation is to utilize fifth-generation platforms to augment our forces and show the participants a fifth-generation threat,” said Lt. Col. Randolph Kinsey, the 18th AGRS commander.

F-35s were first introduced to RF-A during this iteration, which opens the door for future fifth-generation participation from both national and international participants.

“As we go into the future for RED FLAGs, it’s going to be fifth-generation,” said Hunger. “This is a good opportunity to get our foot into the water to see what the temperature is and then we can really start ramping it up.”


Like Us
Follow Us



CNO Hosts Full-Honors Welcoming Ceremony for Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng
Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng receives a full-honors welcoming ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, May 25. Beng, who earlier this month became the first naval officer to lead Singapore’s armed forces, reaffirmed with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday the enduring U.S.-Singapore bilateral defense relationship during his visit to Washington. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Zingaro)
May 26, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng in Washington, D.C., for a full-honors welcoming ceremony, May 25.At the ceremony, CNO presented Beng with a...

Vietnam Vets Honored during 50th Anniversary Celebration
Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. walk the length of the wall March 11 and observe the more than 58,000 names engraved on the wall. The memorial is the most visited memorial on the Washington, D.C. Mall with more than 5 million visitors every year. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Sarah Sangster, Army News Service)
May 26, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- The Vietnam War Commemoration hosted Welcome Home, a three-day event in Washington, D.C. on May 11-13 to celebrate 50 years since the last Soldier, Master Sgt. Max Beilke, left Vietnam, and to honor Vietnam...

Washington Guard Prepares for Hanuman Guardian 23
Vehicles from 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment, Washington National Guard, sit in the loading bay of a cargo ship as it is being loaded for travel to the Kingdom of Thailand prior to Hanuman Guardian 23 on May 23, 2023, at the Port of Tacoma, Wash. (Joseph Siemandel)
May 26, 2023 - TACOMA, Wash. -- This summer, more than 500 Washington National Guard members will take part in Hanuman Guardian 23, an annual, bilateral exercise hosted by the Royal Thai Army at the Cavalry Center in Saraburi, Thailand...

PACAF RQ-4 Global Hawks Arrive at Yokota Air Base
An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, sits on the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 2, 2023. U.S. Pacific Air Forces began positioning RQ-4 Global Hawks at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on May 15 to provide theater-wide enduring operations in support of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S, Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)
May 25, 2023 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Pacific Air Forces began positioning RQ-4 Global Hawks at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on May 15 to provide theater-wide enduring operations in support of...

U.S. Partnership with U.K., Australia Enhances Security
U.S. Marines with 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Ground Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 22, establish defensive positions as MV-22 Ospreys approach for landing during an airfield seizure event as part of exercise Koolendong 22 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Curtin, WA, Australia, July 18, 2022. Exercise Koolendong 22 is a combined and joint force exercise focused on expeditionary advanced base operations conducted by U.S. Marines, U.S. Soldiers, U.S. Airmen, and Australian Defence Force personnel. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cedar Barnes)
May 25, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- In September 2021, the U.S., Australia and the U.K. announced a new partnership, AUKUS, meant to strengthen alliances and security, especially in the Indo-Pacific. In March, plans for moving forward on the first...