F-22s fly first sorties in multi-national Red Flag-Alaska exercise |
by Luke Waack
6/27/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Airmen of the 525th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, and its associate Air Force Reserve unit, the 302nd Fighter Squadron flew the F-22 Raptor in its first Multi-national Red Flag-Alaska exercise, June 6-22.
This is the first time F-22s have participated in a Tier 2 or multi-national Red Flag-Alaska.
The Raptors cleared the skies of simulated enemy forces and provided security for Australian, German, Japanese, Polish, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization aircraft.
"The procedures and standards we set in the exercise will be the benchmark for years to come," said Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Moga, 525th Fighter Squadron commander.
The 525th FS along with four 302d FS pilots, were the only Raptors to participate in the exercise.
"We executed a wide spectrum of missions from defensive counter air, to offensive counter air attack operations," Moga said. "Our role in each vulnerability period ranged from lane commander duties to overall Mission Commander duties. Nearly every skill set we expect to utilize in contingency operations was practiced."
The 525th FS and 302d FS teams flew 80 sorties in all, with a very high mission success rate.
"Our aircraft maintenance unit's performance was exemplary . meeting every single mission tasking," Moga said.
The 525th FS also learned lessons about operating with multi-national partners.
"The most critical lessons learned out of this particular Red Flag were all about interoperability with partner nations and the unique capabilities they bring to the fight," Moga said. "There are many inherent challenges such as language barriers and differing tactical execution techniques that take time and experience to overcome. That's exactly why we execute these types of large force exercises."
The exercise provided the 525th FS with valuable feedback on unit capabilities, Moga said.
"After two solid weeks of tactical mission planning, execution and debriefs, it is suffice to say that our swords are razor sharp and our shields are rock-solid," Moga said.
The Bulldogs' planning for this exercise lasted months, beginning in 2011.
Red Flag-Alaska takes place over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex three to four times per year. For more information on JPARC, visit www.jber.af.mil/jparc/.