U.S. Marines Join 23-3 RED FLAG-Alaska Interoperability Training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Quatasia Carter
  • 673rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152, of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, entered Exercise RED FLAG-Alaska 23-3 last week at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, supporting joint air-to-air refueling combat tactics over the Joint Pacific-Alaska Range Complex.


During Red Flag, VMGR 152 trained with the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growlers, the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 Pegasus, and the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II. Parallel to RED FLAG-Alaska, the squadron also conducted joint training with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 11th Airborne Division during Exercise Evergreen 2023.


“The main reason it's good that we do joint exercises is we don't know some of the capabilities and limitations of the other aircraft we work with,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Joseph Keenan, pilot of a KC-130J Super Hercules. “That tribal knowledge and experience is very important. Having rough numbers of what each aircraft needs and wants, what altitudes they like to fuel at, having all that experience is going to be a game-changer, because now we can apply that knowledge in real life.”


Access to flightlines throughout Alaska enabled the KC-130 to replenish its fuel tanks in Fairbanks. This allowed longer durations of air-support.


“Exercises like Red Flag with multiple units simulating different possibilities during war and different kinds of threat from the enemy really tests joint force interoperability,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Pagliarulo, pilot of a KC-130J Super Hercules.  


To ensure the United States and its allies receive the best air combat training possible, mission planning involved a coalition of multilateral strategies including combat techniques specialized by the 18th Aggressor Squadron.          


“Now that I know how the Air Force plans, I can take some of that style and apply it to how the Marine Corps plans as far as tanking goes and vice versa. We learn off each other. That's the good part about Red Flag,” said Keenan.