by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
12/1/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- U.S.
Service members will partner with members of the United Kingdom's Royal
Air Force (RAF) and the French Air Force (FrAF) for the inaugural
Trilateral anti-access/area denial exercise scheduled for Dec. 2-18,
2015, at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
The exercise, hosted by the 1st Fighter Wing (FW), will focus on
operations in a highly-contested operational environment through a
variety of simulated adversary scenarios. According to U.S. Air Force
Col. Pete Fesler, the commander of the 1st FW, the intent of the
exercise is to gain an understanding of the logistics, support
requirements, capabilities, tactics, techniques and procedures
associated with the integrated operation of coalition front-line
"The RAF and FrAF are our vital strategic partners and allies in the
current fight against extremism, and will be in any foreseeable future
conflict," said Fesler. "The trilateral exercise gives us an opportunity
to train together in realistic counter-air and strike scenarios. This
training is critical to ensure that we have day-one interoperability for
future contingency operations."
According to Fesler, international exercises like the Trilateral
Exercise have helped the 1st FW learn to work with coalition partners in
the past, such as during the Western Zephyr exercise in 2015, where the
1st FW worked with the RAF to enhance joint capabilities.
More than 500 people will be involved in the exercise, consisting of
approximately 225 personnel from the U.S. Air Force, 175 from the RAF
and 150 from the FrAF.
According to Fesler, partnering with coalition forces for training is
critical to ensuring the 1st FW and its allies are ready to execute
their mission when called upon.
The exercise will not only feature the U.S.'s Raptor, but also the RAF's
Typhoon and the FrAF's Rafale as primary aircraft. The Trilateral
Exercise will be the first time these coalition aircraft have flown
together. Adversary aircraft will be replicated by the U.S.'s F-15E
Strike Eagles and T-38 Talons. The U.S.'s Airborne Warning and Control
System, as well as U.S. and FrAF tankers will also provide support
during the exercise.
While there will be more aircraft flying out of Langley, the level of
noise in the surrounding area should be no different than normal.