4 August : The work up phase of IAF’s contingent for exercise Red Flag is presently underway in full swing at Mountain Home, US Air Force Base at Idoho in USA. The IAF team is shaping up well for the main exercise Red Flag scheduled to commence at Nellis AF Base in Nevada from 09 Aug 08.
The contingent has, during the work up phase, flown over a hundred sorties in what can be termed as a ‘cost effective deployment’ with the team making full use of the training infrastructure made available to it. The format of the deployment followed is ‘crawl, walk & run’, a term used for systematic increase in the pace and scope of exercise and combat maneuvering. The IAF’s participating aircraft namely the Su-30 MKIs, IL-78 refuellers and the IL-76 aircraft have practiced Air defence mission, Offensive Air Operations, Large Force Engagements and Dynamic targeting. The IAF Special Force ‘GARUDS’ which also would be taking part in exercise Red Flag have practiced hostage rescue operations in urban warfare scenarios.
The Mountain Home Air Force Base, where the work up phase is presently underway is located at a height of 920 meters above mean sea level in the state of Idoho, USA.. The good weather condition at the base has provided uninterrupted flying environment.
The work up phase is being carried out so that the IAF contingent, which is taking part in exercise Red Flag for the first time, familiarizes itself with the flying procedures, Radio Telephony terminologies, brevity codes and other aspects of the exercise. Thus the contingent is using mountain Home AF Base to hone their skills on operating in USAF environment. For this purpose, Squadrons of USAF F-16s & F-15s are flying missions with IAF aircrafts. The challenge which the IAF team faces is to adapt itself to the complex and advanced Network centricity of USAF.
It may be recalled, that the IAF contingent had set off for the exercise Red Flag from AF Stn Lohegaon, Pune on 07 Jul 08 with eight Su-30 MKIs, two IL-78 mid air refuellers and an IL-76 aircraft along with 247 air warriors. The team would be co-participating in the exercise with the US Air Force, French Air Force and the South Korean Air Force.
The work up phase at Mountain Home Air Force base concludes on 07 Aug 08.