World

June 21, 2012

German air force brings Eurofighter, skills to Eielson AFB

Tags:
by A1C Zachary Perras
Eielson AFB, Alaska

A German air force Eurofighter Typhoon launches from the runway at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 4, 2012. The Germans are participating in Red Flag-Alaska 12-2, a two-week exercise providing aircrew realistic combat sorties and increasing their chances of survival in combat.

After a nearly 5,000-mile trip across the world, 150 members of the German air force recently arrived at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, with eight German Eurofighter Typhoons.

It is the first time the German airframe has deployed overseas, according to German officials. In fact, it is the very first of the Eurofighter’s participation in any U.S. exercise.

German air force Col. Andreas Pfeiffer, the commander of Fighter Wing 74, at Neuburg air base, Germany, said training here is a completely different experience for the German air force, specifically because Alaska provides more air space and accommodates high-caliber coalition training. Most importantly, though, it is host to the 18th Aggressor Squadron.

“The (18th) Aggressor Squadron, which provides us with the best training on Earth, is unique – there is no other training partner like the Aggressors,” Pfeiffer said. “If you put all of the factors together, this is probably the highest quality training you could possibly get in modern air combat.”

One of the most valuable aspects the 18th AGRS provides is dedicated adversary support that the German air force might not find back home, giving a new perspective for German flying and tactics, said Capt. Cory Farrer, an 18th AGRS F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.

“It allows us to fly with another ally and integrate with them as well as giving them a large piece of airspace to train in,” Farrer said. “The Eurofighter is a very capable and formidable airframe, and it’s a great and valuable asset (for our allies).”

German air force maintainers inspect a German Eurofighter Typhoon upon its return from a flight during Red Flag-Alaska 12-2 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 14, 2012. This is the first time the German Eurofighter has participated in a Red Flag-Alaska exercise, as well as its first time on U.S. soil.

The German air force’s aim with Red Flag was to bring the Eurofighter into an environment in which its pilots could show their proficiency with the aircraft while being able to learn and enhance their experience level, Pfeiffer said.

“The goals we have for this Red Flag exercise are focused on our wing capabilities, both in terms of logistics as well as techniques, to prove that the Eurofighter is capable of coping with all of the challenges of modern air combat,” said Pfeiffer. “At the same time, it’s for us to increase our own technical performance and capabilities.”

In addition to months of training in Europe, the Germans arrived in May to participate in Distant Frontier in order to prepare for Red Flag. Since then, Pfeiffer said his forces have learned valuable lessons.

“We are learning that we are flying and fighting on a common tactical basis,” he said. “Although we are flying alongside coalition forces on a regular basis (in Europe), what we learn here is a completely different dimension … and we are able to prepare ourselves for possible future operations anywhere.”

While the German air force has participated in previous exercises like Maple Flag in Canada and other Red Flags at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the Eurofighters have never participated in such a large-scale exercise.

Two German air force Eurofighter Typhoons taxi the runway as a KC-135R Stratotanker launches from the runway during Red Flag-Alaska 12-2 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 11, 2012. The KC-135R Stratotanker is assigned to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

“We have some really experienced pilots, but this is a huge challenge for most of them – it’s the first time they’ve done something like this,” Pfeiffer said. “Even so, I’m surprised about the performance of both our jets and our crews. Our guys and our systems are ready to face the challenges ahead.”

Keeping the future in sight, Pfeiffer is eager to return to Alaska for future Red Flags, attributing the success of his forces to the hospitality and support of Eielson Air Force Base.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to participate with my wing and with a new jet in such an outstanding exercise,” said Pfeiffer. “This is the highest quality training you could get worldwide; it is unique and simply a privilege.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>