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Officials discuss air space standards in Alaska

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNEWS) -- As the Air Force increases its training in Alaska with exercises like Red Flag, which begins April 5, challenges in sharing air space with the civilian sector are at the forefront of community discussions.

Col. Jack Gregory, the 11th Air Force vice commander, met with military leaders and members of the Alaska Civil Military Aviation Council March 27 in a semi-annual meeting to discuss air space standards.

"We're now trying to execute a large, Air Force-level exercise in an area that's not ideally designed to execute that," Colonel Gregory said. "So, as a result, we're working issues now to put the air space together in a way that will make the exercise flow much more efficiently."

Semi-annual conferences and day-to-day operations between the two agencies provide avenues of communication that help move the partnership in the right direction.

"The first thing is just to invest the time to understand -- very carefully and at a technical level -- what some of the military assets look like, how they are used, and what these military training scenarios look like," said Tom George, an Alaska representative of Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association.

"On the other side, we're trying to do a better job of quantifying how the civil aviation community works and communicate that to the Air Force planners so we can at least figure out where the areas are that we really need to focus on," he said.