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Participants "ROK" RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1, "Finnish" strong

RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1 began Oct. 4, 2018 and continued through Oct. 19, 2018.

U.S. Air Force and Finnish air force aircraft fly together in Oct. 2018, on the way to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska to participate in RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1. RF-A 19-1 is the first RED FLAG exercise the Finnish air force has participated in. (Courtesy photo from the Finnish air force)

RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1 began Oct. 4, 2018 and continued through Oct. 19, 2018.

A Republic of Korea air force F-15 Slam Eagle, sits under the Aurora Borealis in Oct. 2018 on the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska flight line during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1. The Republic of Korea and Finnish Air Force both participated in RF-A 19-1. (Courtesy photo from the Republic of Korea air force)

During the mission, the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System loaded off from the aircraft, traveled to a firing point, and traveled back to the aircraft in under an hour

Two U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules prepare to take off from the Fort Greely, Alaska, flight line, Oct. 9, 2018, during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1. During the mission, the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System loaded off from the aircraft, traveled to a firing point, and traveled back to the aircraft in under an hour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Aaron Guerrisky)

RF-A is the Pacific Air Force’s premier simulated combat airpower employment exercise.

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon pilot assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron prepare to refuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 168th Air Refueling Squadron in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex Oct. 8, 2018, during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1. RF-A is the Pacific Air Force’s premier simulated combat airpower employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Aaron Guerrisky)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA --

Oct. 19, 2018, marks the conclusion of the first iteration of RED FLAG-Alaska for fiscal year 2019. 

During RF-A 19-1, Republic of Korea air force, Finnish air force and U.S. forces integrated to conduct realistic air combat training, which allowed for the exchange of tactics and techniques while strengthening relations between partner nations.

The exercise introduced the Finnish air force to their first RED FLAG exercise, exchanging valuable lessons and giving their pilots an opportunity to test their skills against the 18th Aggressor Squadron.

“The Finnish air force has been planning to participate in this exercise for almost 10 years; for me it’s a really big thing to be here in Alaska for RED FLAG,” said Finnish air force Col. Timo Herranen. “I want our Finnish pilots and technicians to learn to cooperate with the U.S. Air Force in a complex air operations environment.”

There were also new training opportunities due to the integration with the Arctic Anvil exercise. A U.S. Army exercise, which took place at the same time, designed to prepare soldiers for at the Army’s National Training Center. 

“Several of the key points in Arctic Anvil corresponded to sorties during Red Flag Alaska 19-1,” said Capt. Daniel Thompson, the RF-A 19-1 team chief. “We then designed our flying operations to support the objectives of the ground forces commander.”

Throughout RF-A 19-1 airmen from more than a dozen units flew and supported sorties throughout the Joint Pacific Alaska Pacific Range Complex, strengthening partnerships, exchanging tactics and honing their combat capabilities.