RSAF F-16D Block 52 from the 425th Fighter Squadron.(© Neil Pearson)
F-15s and F-16s from the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) two overseas-based fighter training detachments will be heading to Alaska for Exercise Red Flag 13-1, to be held from the 4th to the 19th of October.
Eight RSAF Boeing F-15SG Strike Eagles from the Mountain Home, Idaho-based 366th Fighter Wing's 428th Fighter Squadron (Buccaneers), a joint USAF-RSAF training squadron will be joined by ten RSAF F-16C/D Block 52s from the 56th Fighter Wing's 425th Fighter Squadron (Black Widows), which is also a joint USAF-RSAF training unit, from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. It is believed (unconfirmed at the moment) they will be joined by a Singapore-based RSAF KC-135R from 112 Sqn.
Other air combat participants at Red Flag 13-1 include the USAF's F-22 Raptors and F-16C/Ds. EA-6B Prowlers are slated to provide Electronic Warfare support while there will also be Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions undertaken by HH-60 Pave Hawks from the USAF. The Royal Thai Air Force will also take part with a single C-130 Hercules transport. "Red" aggressor missions will, as usual, be flown by the USAF's 18th Aggressor Squadron with it's colourful F-16s.
Red Flag-Alaska is a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored joint/coalition, tactical air combat employment exercise designed to replicate the stresses that warfighters must face in combat. The exercise takes 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. All Red Flag-Alaska flying takes place from the two main USAF bases on Alaska, namely Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.