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Wedgetails return from Red Flag Alaska

written by WOFA | September 1, 2014
The Wedgetails at Red Flag Alaska. (Defence)
The Wedgetails were based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for Red Flag Alaska. (Defence)

Two RAAF E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft have returned to Australia after participating in Exercise Red Flag Alaska last month.

The two 2SQN aircraft, supported by 59 personnel from the RAAF’s 49 Wing, took part in a number of ‘large force employment’ air combat exercises involving up to 60 aircraft during Red Flag Alaska 14-3, which ran from August 7 to 22.

“This exercise was important as we move towards declaring final operational capability,” said Officer Commanding 42WG, GPCAPT Antony Martin.

“Red Flag also provided excellent opportunities for our personnel to integrate with a joint task force to learn how other countries operate.”

Red Flag Alaska is hosted by the US Pacific Air Forces and utilises the 168,350 sq km (65,000 sq mile) Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, with aircraft operating from Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“The Joint Pacific-Alaska Range Complex airspace allows aircraft to practice tasks that cannot be accomplished in other areas,” said Air Force Lt Col Dylan Baumgartner, commander of the 353rd Combat Training Squadron, Detachment 1, explained in a statement. “The large volume of sky and lack of population throughout most of the range space allows for full use of aircraft capabilities, such as extended supersonic flight, which isn’t available in most training areas.”

A USAF F-22 (background) takes off from Elmendorf during Red Flag Alaska 14-3. (USAF)
A USAF F-22 (background) takes off from Elmendorf during Red Flag Alaska 14-3. (USAF)

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