RED FLAG-Alaska kicks off

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle tactical fighter jet assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. The F-15s are deployed to Eielson for RF-A, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle tactical fighter jet assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. The F-15s are deployed to Eielson for RF-A, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. Aggressor pilots are trained to act as opposing forces in exercises like RF-A to better prepare U.S. and allied forces for aerial combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. Aggressor pilots are trained to act as opposing forces in exercises like RF-A to better prepare U.S. and allied forces for aerial combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

Three U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 137, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wa., takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. RF-A enables joint and international units to sharpen their combat skills by flying simulated combat sorties in a realistic threat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

Three U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 137, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wa., takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. RF-A enables joint and international units to sharpen their combat skills by flying simulated combat sorties in a realistic threat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron taxis on the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska flightline, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. RF-A is a two-week long exercise that takes place within the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, a 67,000 square-mile training range, the largest instrumented air, ground and electronic combat training range in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron taxis on the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska flightline, May 2, 2016, during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1. RF-A is a two-week long exercise that takes place within the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, a 67,000 square-mile training range, the largest instrumented air, ground and electronic combat training range in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner/Released)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Residents of Interior Alaska may see and hear increased flying activity as the first RED FLAG-Alaska of the calendar year, RF-A 16-1, begins and runs through May 13, 2016.

RF-A provides U.S. and allied pilots, aircrews and operational support personnel the opportunity to train and improve their air combat skills in preparation for a myriad of worldwide contingencies.

The first of four exercises planned for this calendar year includes more than 80 aircraft and hundreds of participants, to include the Eielson’s F-16 Aggressor aircraft; F-15 Eagle tactical fighters and KC-135 refueling aircraft from Kadena Air Base, Japan; F-16 Fighting Falcons from Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea; 137 U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wa.; Su-30MKI fighter aircraft from Sirsa AB, India; Jaguar attack aircraft from Ambala AB, India; IL-78MKI refueling aircraft from Agra AB, India; KC-135 refueling aircraft at Eielson; HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and special operations Airmen from JBER and Fort Wainwright, Alaska, as well as airmen with the Indonesian air force.

The exercises are conducted in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), the largest instrumented air, ground and electronic combat training range in the world at more than 65,000 square miles, and in special use airspace across the state, with air operations flown out of Eielson AFB and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.