Bengaluru, April 6: The Indian Air Force (IAF) assets are on their way to the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Alaska to take part in the 15-day-long air exercise codenamed, Ex-Red Flag-16-1.
The IAF team left Jamnagar Air Force Station on April 3, probably taking the longest route before reaching Eielson AFB. IAF says there are participating in the exercise following an invitation from the US Air Force (USAF).
The exercise is scheduled to commence from April 28 to May 13. The IAF contingent is led by Group Captain H Assudani.
The 12-aircraft IAF team consists of four Su-30 MKIs, four Jaguars, two IL-78 tankers and two C-17s strategic airlift platforms.
"The exercise will provide ample opportunity for exchange of ideas relating to concept of operations in a dynamic warfare environment. This multinational air exercise assumes importance in view of the continued engagement of the IAF with foreign friendly countries," says an IAF spokesperson.
IAF says that during the exercise, Su-30 MKI and Jaguars along with USAF fighters will be operating in composite formations under various near realistic scenarios.
During the Red Flag exercise held at the Nellis Air Force Base in 2008, the IAF contingent was led by Group Captain D Chaudhury.
Originally conceived in 1975 by the USAF, the exercise aims to provide operational exposure and mutual exchange of operational capability of friendly air forces.
Interestingly, Eielson AFB was recently selected as the new home for the USAF's first operational overseas F-35A Lightning II fighter jets.
The IAF released an official photograph showing the IL-78 refueling Jaguars of the overflying Dubai on the way to Alaska.