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.


 
 

 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




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>