Defense

July 25, 2014

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

A1C Thomas Spangler

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Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat training exercises designed to increase combat readiness and effectiveness.

 
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A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., moves into position for mid-air refueling over the Nevada Test and Training Range with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014. Red Flag provides realistic combat training in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment. These stressors provide aircrews with real-time war scenarios and helps ground crews test and improve their operational readiness.

 
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Senior Airman Michael Weidman, a boom operator assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., maneuvers the boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker into place to refuel aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. In addition to providing fuel for aircraft in mid-air, the KC-135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo.

 
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A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., moves his aircraft into position for in-flight refueling mission during Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. A typical Red Flag exercise involves a variety of attack, fighter and bomber, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, air superiority, airlift support, search and rescue, aerial refueling and command and control aircraft.

 
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Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., after completing in-flight refueling during Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. Red Flag invites different units, airframes, branches and allied nations the chance to practice various air combat scenarios with one another. These different groups may have to work with one another in future real-world operations.

 

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A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, July 17, 2014, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. The F-22 is an air-superiority supersonic fighter aircraft capable of reaching speeds twice the speed of sound, and carries a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

 




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