HomeNewsArticle Display

Dragon Lady makes historic appearance at Northern Edge

A U-2 Dragon Lady takes off during exercise Northern Edge 17, May 8, 2017. The U-2 is participating for the first time in Northern Edge, the joint training exercise is focused on interoperability and hosting approximately 6,000 service members, 200 fixed wing aircraft and provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard with critical training.

A U-2S Dragon Lady takes off during exercise Northern Edge 17, May 8, 2017. The U-2S participated for the first time in Northern Edge, a joint training exercise focused on interoperability and hosted about 6,000 service members, 200 fixed-wing aircraft and provided the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard with critical training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

9th Physiological Support Squadron launch and recovery technicians, conduct a pre-flight inspection on a full-pressure suit at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 8, 2017. The U-2 Dragon Lady participated for the first time in exercise Northern Edge, which is a joint exercise that involves over 200 fixed-wing aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

Launch and recovery technicians from the 9th Physiological Support Squadron conduct a preflight inspection on a full-pressure suit at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 8, 2017. The U-2S Dragon Lady participated for the first time in exercise Northern Edge, which is a joint exercise that involves over 200 fixed-wing aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

A U-2 Dragon Lady pilot climbs to the cockpit during exercise Northern Edge 17 at Joint Base at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 9, 2017. Northern Edge is a biennial joint training exercise involving approximately 6,000 personnel and 200 fixed-wing aircraft, and dates back to 1975. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

A U-2S Dragon Lady pilot climbs to the cockpit during exercise Northern Edge 17 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 9, 2017. Northern Edge is a biennial joint training exercise involving about 6,000 personnel and 200 fixed-wing aircraft, and dates back to 1975. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

A U-2 Dragon Lady prepares to land during exercise Northern Edge 17 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 8, 2017. The U-2 participated for the first time in Northern Edge, which is a biennial joint training exercise involving approximately 6,000 personnel and 200 fixed-wing aircraft, and dates back to 1975. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

A U-2S Dragon Lady prepares to land during exercise Northern Edge 17 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 8, 2017. The U-2S participated for the first time in Northern Edge, which is a biennial joint training exercise involving about 6,000 personnel and 200 fixed-wing aircraft, and dates back to 1975. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) -- Looking across the flightline at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during previous Northern Edge exercises you would have seen a mass of gray and white aircraft, but this year the distinctly black U-2S Dragon Lady from Beale Air Force Base, California, made its presence known for the first time at Northern Edge, and showcased the unique capabilities it can bring to the joint fight.

Northern Edge, which took place from May 1-12, is Alaska’s premier joint training exercise, hosting about 6,000 service members, 200 fixed wing aircraft and maritime forces represented by every branch of the military. The focus of the exercise is on interoperability and takes place throughout the state and surrounding waterways.

The two-week exercise was utilized by the 9th Reconnaissance Wing to test new experimental technology on the U-2S. This technology fully integrated the U-2S with fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft.

“It’s a big stepping stone for us; it’s the first year the U-2 has participated in Northern Edge. The fact that we have forward deployed to Alaska, we’ve taken over 130 personnel from the [9th RW] and deployed them out to JBER is an achievement,” said Maj. Dustin, the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron’s wing tactics office weapons school development branch chief.

The diverse team of Airmen and civilians that the 9th RW sent to Northern Edge 17 worked closely to accomplish the mission at JB Elmendorf-Richarson.

“The comradery with everyone has been great, all of us working together to get the mission done, and it has gone really smoothly,” said Staff Sgt. David Labarge, a 9th Physiological Support Squadron full pressure suit technician supervisor. “It was very rewarding to be a part of the crew that launched the first jet from here in 30 years.”

Operating the U-2 program away from home and in a temporary environment brought about unique challenges in contrast to being back at Beale AFB.

“There are several differences for PSPTS; we are working out of a smaller shop, we only have three Airmen deployed here,” Labarge said. “We are also working hand in hand with maintenance closer than we normally do back at Beale. “

Those in support of the U-2S spent a total of four weeks at JB Elmendorf-Richardson including two weeks of preparation and two weeks of active flying during the exercise and for the team the benefits of participating are clear.

“The benefits of coming to Northern Edge are twofold, it allows us to exercise our ability to forward deploy to other locations. Most importantly it allows the U-2 to demonstrate new advanced technology that is coming out, such as sensor and communication packages,” Dustin said. “This environment will allow the U-2 to advance into the future.”

The experience gained and technology tested at this large joint exercise is indispensable and will help carry the U-2S forward.

“We frequently fly exercises out of Beale, in the future we are looking to take the U-2 to other locations to participate in more exercises after this successful run at Northern Edge,” said Maj. Brian, the Detachment 2, 53rd Test and Evaluation Group director of operations for U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk operational tests. “By merging test development, operational test and experimental technologies, we are looking at opportunities to advance the U-2 program in both the near term as well as the next 2-5 years. By doing all three of those things we are encompassing the entire spectrum of the future of the U-2.”

Engage

Twitter
#ABMS will deliver decision superiority to the @usairforce & @SpaceForceDoD. This is all-domain command and contr… https://t.co/52J0YQEQhn
Twitter
The 2-week training will focus on @GenCQBrownJr's #AccelerateChange Action Order C: Competition by dissecting the g… https://t.co/J97obvYz10
Twitter
Building on women’s hair updates announced in February 2021, beginning June 25 when hair is secured behind the head… https://t.co/kjocdaU8Co
Twitter
“When you look at the numbers, 500,000 is a lot of [#COVID19] vaccinations. That reflects every #Soldier and… https://t.co/0hDKneUwUU
Twitter
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is sponsoring a research project with the @WitchitaState's National Inst… https://t.co/r1SZzmLUGo
Twitter
.@NellisAFB recently hosted an #AirForce Weapons School Integration exercise that taught graduate-level instructor… https://t.co/sdRcG9Tqle
Twitter
Industry and government operators, engineers, and test professionals assessed the ability to do medical evacuation,… https://t.co/GosqQbx3Ac
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: As part of the @UTNationalGuard's state partnership with Morocco, @UtahAirGuard Airmen are taking part in African Lion 21…
Twitter
“This office is the first organization that will stand-up from an enterprise-wide perspective to address digital ne… https://t.co/94P7CNFxGj
Twitter
"Multi-capable #Airmen is a series of training events designed to engage Airmen in developing a combat skillset out… https://t.co/7b4VFMb9cm
Twitter
"I'm probably not the first to be qualified, but the first to have the opportunity." @GenCQBrownJr sat down with… https://t.co/vh14QdB6sp
Twitter
#CitizenAirmen from the 30th Aerial Port Squadron & @AFRC_433, loaded supplies onto a C-5 Galaxy, to deliver suppli… https://t.co/MDSVEtQbZm
Twitter
.@59_MDW medics assisted a hospital in #Honduras during Exercise Resolute Sentinel 21, where they performed life-ch… https://t.co/DRGyg4NOhL
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth at today's SAC-D hearing: "Our nation’s competitive strategic advantage relies on air and space superiority…
Twitter
To maintain open lines of communication with #AirForce allies and African partners, CMSgt Brion Blais, @HQUSAFEAFAFhttps://t.co/4nGOtWJnLp
Twitter
“I can help [#Airmen] and prepare them for the challenges they’ll face as NCO’s; everything I’ve encountered has pr… https://t.co/YT3x1UjGFU
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth is speaking now on the future capabilities the Department requires to protect the Nation--including the Gro…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense is asking A/SecAF Roth about investments to modernize the @USAirForce
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,346,304
Follow Us