Dobbins to participate in Red Flag-Alaska 15-1

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Beginning Sept. 29, 44 members from the 94th Airlift Wing along with one C-130 Hercules will be taking off from here to take part in RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

RED FLAG-Alaska is a joint/coalition, tactical air combat employment exercise which corresponds to the operational capability of participating units. In other words, exercises often involve several units whose military mission may differ significantly from those of other participating units. RED FLAG-Alaska planners take these factors into consideration when designing exercises so participants get the maximum training possible without being unfairly disadvantaged during simulated combat scenarios.

"The 94th Airlift Wing will be joining in RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1 performing infiltrating/exfiltrating of troops and equipment for Army and Marines, Air land (dirt assaults), and air drop operations while performing in a navigation, radar and infared contested environment," said Lt. Col. Terence Green, 94th Operations Support Squadron.  "RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1 is an international exercise hosted by Pacific Air Forces involving 18 units and 75 aircraft with Dobbins as the only Air Force Reserve unit."

All RED FLAG-Alaska exercises take place in the Joint Pacific Range Complex over Alaska as well as a portion of Western Canadian airspace. The entire airspace is made up of extensive Military Operations Areas, Special Use Airspace, and ranges, for a total airspace of more than 67,000 square miles.

On average, more than 1,000 people and up to 60 aircraft deploy to Eielson, and an additional 500 people and 40 aircraft deploy to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, for each RED FLAG-Alaska exercise. Most participating RED FLAG-Alaska units arrive a week prior to the actual exercise. During that time, aircrews may fly one or two range orientation flights, make physical and mental preparations, hone up on local flying restrictions, receive local safety and survival briefings, and work on developing orientation plans.

"For events such as this, we will usually take one jet out as a trial the first time," Green said. "If things go well, we will try to bring out six ships for the next RED FLAG-Alaska."

(Information pulled from an Eielson Air Force Base press release)