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Enhancing Joint Force Interoperability, Tactical Proficiency
by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jasmine Barnes
May 4, 2024

Red Flag-Alaska 24-1, a Pacific Air Forces-led exercise, took place at Eielson Air Force Base April 18, 2024 – May 3, 2024 to enhance air operations, improve interoperability and strengthen alliances and partnerships.

April 23, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Schinke (middle), 36th Fighter Generation Squadron F-16 electrical and environmental specialist, gives the signal to Maj. Matthew Alexander (right), 36th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot, and Senior Airman Rejon Osborne (left), 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, to begin taxiing on the flightline during Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Red Flag-Alaska serves as an ideal platform for international engagement and the exercise has a long history of including Allies and Partners. This enables all involved to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Carson Jeney.)
April 23, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Schinke (middle), 36th Fighter Generation Squadron F-16 electrical and environmental specialist, gives the signal to Maj. Matthew Alexander (right), 36th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot, and Senior Airman Rejon Osborne (left), 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, to begin taxiing on the flightline during Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Red Flag-Alaska serves as an ideal platform for international engagement and the exercise has a long history of including Allies and Partners. This enables all involved to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Carson Jeney.)

Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 served as an ideal platform for international engagement and enabled all units involved, including the Italian Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures.

“For RF-A 24-1, one thing we are focusing on is integration,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Dawicki, 353rd Combat Training Squadron air battle manager. “One thing unique about this exercise is we [had] a heavy footprint of Italian assets.”

Training with international partners and operating from different bases across the Indo-Pacific and European theater provides mutually beneficial operational opportunities while promoting long-term relationships.

“It is an honor to be here with so many assets and it is very important for us to practice in such realistic scenarios,” said Italian Air Force Col. Vito Cracas, Red Flag-Alaska Italian Air Force detachment commander. “Exercises like Red Flag-Alaska are unique because they really give us the chance to test [capabilities] to the limit. Participating in a large-force employment exercise is an occasion to [get to] know each other and work together.”

For U.S. Air Force, sister services and international participants, the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex airspace provided realistic air, ground and electronic combat training.

“The area here is amazing, the space is huge and the limitations are almost nonexistent,” Cracas said. “Working together with PACAF is something we tend not to do in Europe because we are very far away, but flying alongside with units that we have never had the chance to fly with is a big takeaway of this exercise.”

A strong, interoperable North Atlantic Treaty Organization Alliance is key to promoting peace and stability. Continued collaboration and integration with Allies and Partners improves the resilience and survivability of coalition airpower.

April 23, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Schinke (left), 36th Fighter Generation Squadron F-16 electrical and environmental specialist, and Senior Airman Robert Fitzbag Jr. (right), 36th FGS crew chief, conduct a pre-flight inspection during Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. In addition to aircrew, Red Flag-Alaska provides training for deployed maintenance and support personnel in sustainment of large-force deployed air operations. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Carson Jeney.)
April 23, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Schinke (left), 36th Fighter Generation Squadron F-16 electrical and environmental specialist, and Senior Airman Robert Fitzbag Jr. (right), 36th FGS crew chief, conduct a pre-flight inspection during Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. In addition to aircrew, Red Flag-Alaska provides training for deployed maintenance and support personnel in sustainment of large-force deployed air operations. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Carson Jeney.)

 “It’s extremely important and beneficial to use these exercises to work with international Allies and Partners," Dawicki said. “It builds great relationships and trust between everybody, which is required to fight and win in the environments we work in. Future exercises will continue to build that trust factor and ensure we can all work together efficiently and effectively when the time comes.”

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