Four Sukhoi 30-MKI fighters, four Jaguars, two military transport C17 Globemasters, and two IL 78 mid-air refuellers took off from India on Sunday to participate in the exercise at the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska from April 28 to May 13.
During the exercise, Su-30 MKI and Jaguars, along with USAF fighters will be operating in composite formations under various near realistic scenarios.
“The exercise will provide ample opportunity for exchange of ideas relating to concept of operations in a dynamic warfare environment,” said a statement from the IAF.
The statement said the “multinational air exercise” assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with friendly foreign countries.
Exercise Red Flag is a multinational air exercise, originally conceived in 1975 by USAF to provide operational exposure and mutual exchange of Op capability of friendly air forces.
The Indian contingent is led by Group Captain H. Assudani.
Red Flag-Alaska is a 10-day air combat training exercise of the US Air Force which is held up to four times a year.
It is held at the Eielson and Elmendorf air force bases in Alaska.
The first exercise of this year will be held from April 28 to May 13, as per the website of the Eielson Air Force Base.
Originally named ‘Cope Thunder’, the exercise was moved to the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska from the Clark Air Base in the Philippines in 1992 after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 15, 1991, which forced the curtailment of operations.
‘Cope Thunder’ was re-designated Red Flag-Alaska in 2006.