Red Flag-Alaska 23-3 strengthens international collaboration

  • Published
  • By Maria Galvez
  • 673rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 23-3 kicked off on Aug. 14, bringing together military forces from the United States, Australia, and other partner nations for two weeks of intensive and realistic aircraft flight training. Taking place over the sprawling expanse of the Joint Pacific-Alaska Range Complex, the exercise is set to conclude Aug. 25, marking the third iteration of this year's Pacific Air Forces-directed training event.

This year's exercise features approximately 2,000 U.S. service members from 20 units, all of whom will be involved in flying, maintaining, and supporting more than 80 aircraft. Units from the Japan Air Self Defense Forces, Republic of Korea Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal Air Force, and NATO have also participated in past iterations of the 2023 exercise. The exchange of tactics, techniques, and procedures among these diverse groups has enhanced interoperability, allowing for seamless collaboration in future joint operations.

“23-3 is the key exercise within the Red Flag enterprise, providing both U.S. and international forces realistic and integrated combat training in a controlled environment,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Tyler Sellers, 354th Operations Group Detachment 1 assistant director of operations.
“Participants have the opportunity to improve joint interoperability through refinement of tactics, techniques and procedures while facing realistic air and surface threats provided by specialized aggressor units.”

One of the highlights of the current iteration is the involvement of the Royal Australian Air Force E-7 Wedgetail team. RAAF squadron leader and E-7A exchange pilot Chris Tomlinson emphasized the significance of this training for the Wedgetail platform.

"Australia is excited at the opportunities presented during participation of this U.S.-led training,” said Tomlinson. “With the trilateral Wedgetail Joint Vision Statement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, never before has interoperability been of such significance."

The Royal Australian Air Force's participation in the exercise aligns with the broader goals of international collaboration and interoperability. The Wedgetail platform, renowned for its airborne command-and-control capabilities, integrates fifth-generation assets seamlessly.

As the exercise unfolds, participants will not only hone their combat skills but also deepen their understanding of coordinated operations across different domains. From air combat to ground, space, and cyberspace, Red Flag-Alaska equips personnel with the tools needed to excel in the modern battlespace.

“This high-end training environment ensures combat readiness in response to evolving challenges in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Sellers.

The commitment of nations like the United States, Australia, and others to participate in this exercise underscores the value of international cooperation and the mutual benefits that stem from shared training experiences. As the Red Flag-Alaska 23-3 exercise continues to push the boundaries of training excellence, it sets a strong precedent for the future of collaborative military operations.