JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska 21-2 came to a close at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 25, 2021 after playing a role in integrating the Pacific Air Forces with its international partners.
“It was good we knocked out a lot, because we had two of our exercises cancelled from last year because of COVID and two of them were slightly paired down,” said Lt. Col. John Fuccello, 354th Operations Group Detachment 1 director of operations. “We had a lot of great lessons learned and a lot of the young crews learned a lot of valuable lessons so in the end it was a win.”
RED FLAG-Alaska 21-2 is a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise that provides a simulated combat environment through a series of large force employment training, close air support, and joint offensive counter-air exercises.
“The real benefit to this 21-2 exercise is the coalition, collaboration, and strengthening of our bond to our close partners in the PACOM AOR [Pacific Command Area of Responsibility],” said Lt. Col. Ryan Eads, 354th Operations Group Detachment 1 commander.
The RED FLAG exercises took place in a Joint Pacific Range Complex over Alaska with an airspace of more than 67,000 square miles. Military operations areas, special-use airspace, and ranges comprised a majority of the airspace.
Mission activities included aerial refuelings, airborne operations, command and control functions, mission training and deliveries to Eielson, and low level practice maneuvers.
While this iteration is coming to an end, the RF-A 21-3 is slated for August.
“ The next RF-A is gonna look different,” Fuccello said. “We’re going to have different international participation. So we’ll do some different scenarios to allow us to integrate effectively.”