Exercise 'Red Flag Alaska 16-1'
Rain or shine... and it certainly did, as an international group of photographers were welcomed on base for two days to cover Red Flag Alaska 16-1. As well as the more familiar PACAF F-15 & F-16 units, and Navy Growlers, the exercise was made very special by the participation of the Indian Air Force. Four Jaguar IS from 14 'Bulls' Squadron at Ambala and four Su-30MKI from 15 'Fighting Fifteen' Squadron based at Sirsa, along with two IL-78MKI tankers from Agra made the journey here, twelve years since the IAF's last visit to Eielson AFB for the (then called) Cope Thunder exercise. For the Jaguar especially, this was a very rare and welcome international deployment for the iconic aircraft, in service with the last operator of the type.
Many thanks to 1Lt Zani and staff from the 354 FW/PA, as well as Wg Cdr D'Silva from the IAF/PRO for their exceptional assistance with the visit.
Full report to follow...