JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Canadian and U.S. armed forces assigned to the 552nd Air Control Wing (ACW) from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, demonstrated joint defense efforts aboard a Boeing E-3 Sentry aircraft during RED FLAG-Alaska 22-2, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The primary mission of the E-3, an airborne warning and control system aircraft, is to provide airborne battle management and command and control, indispensable situational awareness and early warning of enemy actions.
Royal Canadian Air Force and U.S. Air Force service members from the 552nd ACW tested their ability to obtain and disseminate weather, airspace activity, and other critical data in Alaska during RF-A. This exercise also allowed for unique opportunities to integrate forces, allowing for the exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability.
“I think, overall, the partnership that the U.S. and Canada have within the E3 community is a great example of cooperative partnership that is mutually beneficial for both countries,” said RCAF Maj. David Foyer, the 552nd ACW evaluator section lead in charge. “It supports the overall higher strategic goals of both armed forces and both nations. I think it’s a great example of what we want to achieve.”
Since 1979, RCAF and Tinker AFB personnel have worked hand-in-hand to increase combat capabilities, which is part of the RF-A mission of U.S. and international forces, a mission greatly benefited by the partnership between Canada and the U.S.
"[The] U.S. and Canada specifically are the entirety of the defense for North America," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Nicholas Cummings, a 552nd ACW member. "We have… tens of thousands of miles of airspace that we're tasked to support and defend in accordance with our homeland defense contract. Without our relationship with the Canadians, it is impossible to do that."
RF-A provides a unique opportunity to integrate international forces into joint, coalition, and multilateral training, thereby increasing the combat capabilities and readiness of its participants. It allows for Airmen and other participants to train for full spectrum engagements, ranging from individual skills, to complex, large-scale joint engagement. The exercise provided realistic combat training, which is essential to the success of air and space operations.