TRAVIS AFB, Calif. --– Airmen and aircraft from the 60th Air Mobility Wing escorted other U.S. Air Force assets from Japan to Alaska ahead of Red Flag-Alaska 19-2, which began June 6.
Red Flag-Alaska is a large-scale field training exercise headquartered at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, designed to provide participants with realistic combat experience in a controlled environment.
Members of the Republic of Korea Air Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and the Royal Thai Air Force will train alongside their U.S. counterparts temporarily stationed at Eielson and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, enabling all involved to share tactics, techniques, and procedures and improve bilateral integration.
Several KC-10 Extenders from Travis conducted a coronet mission to get some of the participants there a few days before the start of the exercise.
“We commonly refer to coronets as fighter drags due to the fact that we have the fighters flying with us and we refuel them in air,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Smith, 660th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerial crew chief. “The fighters do not have the range needed to fly across the Pacific Ocean without refueling.”
Smith was a part of two KC-10 missions: the first supported four U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts from Japan to Alaska and the second supported five F-16 Falcons.
Altogether, there were three Travis KC-10s from both the 6th and the 9th Air Refueling Squadrons working together to get 14 to 16 A-10s and 14 to 16 F-16s to Red Flag.
The exercise is scheduled to continue through June 21.