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The 35th FW kicks off RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1

A Marine F/A-18 Hornet aircraft with the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 from Miramar, California, taxis by a 14th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, Japan, during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. For more than two decades, the joint-tactical combat employment exercise focused on ally development and cohesion. U.S. military branches and armed services of multiple countries around the world came together to exchange tactics, operations techniques and procedures to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

A Marine F/A-18 Hornet aircraft with the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 from Miramar, California, taxis by a 14th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, Japan, during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. For more than two decades, the joint-tactical combat employment exercise focused on ally development and cohesion. U.S. military branches and armed services of multiple countries around the world came together to exchange tactics, operations techniques and procedures to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

A 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, Japan, takes to the skies at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, centers around developing relationships with U.S. forces and their allies for a more comprehensive understanding of partner training and tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

A 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, Japan, takes to the skies at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, centers around developing relationships with U.S. forces and their allies for a more comprehensive understanding of partner training and tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Charles Dodd, the 13th Fighter Squadron chief of wing weapons and a pilot, inspects his equipment prior to flight at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, allows U.S. forces to exchange knowledge and information with counterparts and allies from other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Charles Dodd, the 13th Fighter Squadron chief of wing weapons, inspects his equipment prior to flight at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, allows U.S. forces to exchange knowledge and information with counterparts and allies from other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons with the 13th Fighter Squadron sit on a runway during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. RF-A 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, exposes all parties to combat-like scenarios to familiarize members with high-intensity, fast-paced operations to improve interoperability among allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons with the 13th Fighter Squadron sit on a runway during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. RF-A 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, exposes all parties to combat-like scenarios to familiarize members with high-intensity, fast-paced operations to improve interoperability among allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Onorato, the 13th Fighter Squadron activity security manager, inspects his ear protection before climbing into an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. RF-A 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, is slated to train more than 1,000 personnel and 60 aircraft in a simulated air combat environment optimizing personnel's abilities and honing acquired skill sets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Onorato, the 13th Fighter Squadron activity security manager, inspects his ear protection before climbing into an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 19-1, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6, 2018. RF-A 19-1, held Oct. 4 to 19, is slated to train more than 1,000 personnel in a simulated air combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Exercise RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1 kicked off at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 4 with primary flying operations being executed over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. Misawa Air Base’s 35th Fighter Wing is serving as the lead unit throughout the Pacific Air Forces-sponsored training.

For more than two decades, the joint-tactical combat employment exercise has focused on ally development and cohesion. U.S. military branches and armed services of multiple countries around the world come together to exchange tactics, operations techniques and procedures to improve interoperability; this RF-A iteration includes the U.S. Air Force Marine Corps, Navy and Army as well as the Finnish and Republic of Korea Air Forces.

“This exercise is crucial to mission success because it allows U.S. forces to exchange knowledge and information with our invaluable counterparts,” said Master Sgt. Tonya Wood, a 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit aircraft section chief. “If we were in a combat status, we would already have a pre-developed relationship established thanks to joint ventures like this.”

PACAF expects this exercise to train more than 1,000 personnel in a simulated air combat environment, in which 60 aircraft will be utilized.

“This is the Air Force's premier exercise,” explained Col. Jason Cockrum, the 35th Operations Group commander and Misawa’s unit commander on the ground in Alaska. “Due to Alaska's range of air space, this training opportunity is unique and cannot be executed elsewhere. We are allotted time and space to team build and develop regional stability, which aids in enemy deterrence.”

RF-A exposes all parties to combat-like scenarios to familiarize members with high-intensity, fast-paced operations. Scenarios replicate conceivable real-world threats but in a safe and maintained environment.

“Daily operations at Misawa Air Base typically consist of standard training,” Wood explained. “However, we now have the opportunity to work with multiple mission design series, aircraft, units and countries. It's a real-time look at how to react to a conflict, without actually being exposed to it.”

The exercise wraps up Oct. 19.