JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) has been giving the United States Air Force and its allies extensive simulated combat training for decades, and this year is no different.
This year marks the F-22 Raptor’s 25th anniversary of consistently providing America and its allies with fifth-generation air superiority.
To no one’s surprise, the Raptor is proving itself to be a valuable team player with other participating aircraft during RF-A 22-3.
The aircraft and its pilots are tasked with providing offensive counter air and defensive counter air escorts to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and other fourth-generation aircraft.
Each iteration of RF-A takes place over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The JPARC is the largest instrumented flight test range in the United States.
“One of the great parts about being stationed in Alaska as an F-22 fighter pilot is the ability to participate annually in our RED FLAG-Alaska scenarios,” said Lt. Col. Matt Tromans, Commander of the 525th Fighter Squadron.
The F-22 first arrived at JBER 15 years ago this month; then-Elmendorf Air Force base became the second operational base and the first Pacific Air Forces installation to receive the Raptors on August 8, 2007. The Raptor has its home with the 3rd Wing on JBER, with F-22 aircraft in the 525th and 90th Fighter Squadrons.
While participating in RF-A, pilots of the Raptor have devoted their time to perfecting and developing tactics in the simulated combat environment of the JPARC. The JPARC airspace covers more than 77,000 square miles allowing Airmen to train for full spectrum engagement ranging from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagement.
The F-22s for RF-A 22-3 are from the 525th Fighter Squadron, they are training alongside F-35 Lightning IIs and F-16s both based in Eielson AFB, Alaska. The F-35 along with the F-22 will make Alaska the most concentrated state for the fifth-generation aircraft.