Military News

Friday, May 01, 2015

DC Air Guard deploys for 'RED FLAG-Alaska'

by Airman 1st Class Anthony Small
113th Wing Public Affairs


5/1/2015 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md.  -- Nearly 200 Airmen and 10 Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard, recently deployed to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, which is located 25 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska, in support of exercise Red Flag-Alaska.

Red Flag-Alaska, which runs from April 30 to May 17, is a multi-national, air combat training exercises involving multiple units whose military mission sets differ significantly from that of other participating units.

"Taking part in Red Flag-Alaska is about training in realistic environments under realistic circumstances," said Brig. Gen. George M. Degnon, 113th Wing commander. Red Flag ensures our 'Capital Guardians' maintain the highest levels of proficiency and readiness for protecting our nation's Capital and their world-wide assignments."

All Red Flag-Alaska exercises take place in the Joint Pacific Range Complex over Alaska as well as a portion of Western Canadian airspace. The entire airspace is made up of extensive Military Operations Areas, Special Use Airspace, and ranges, for a total airspace of more than 67,000 square miles, slightly larger than the size of the state of Florida.

"This is a great opportunity to train with allied nations and experience working with live munitions," said Degnon. "This training simulates the first 10 days of combat in a war."

On average, more than 1,000 people and up to 60 aircraft deploy to Eielson AFB, and an additional 500 people and 40 aircraft deploy to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, located 10 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska, for each Red Flag-Alaska exercise. Most participating Red Flag-Alaska units arrive a week prior to the actual exercise. During that time, aircrews may fly one or two range orientation flights, make physical and mental preparations, hone up on local flying restrictions, receive local safety and survival briefings, and work on developing orientation plans.

The 113th Wing provides air sovereignty forces to defend the Nation's Capital and also provides fighter, airlift and support forces capable of local, national and global employment.

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