HomeNewsArticle Display

Fourth Fighter Squadron wraps up training in Alaska

A picture of F-35s flying.

F-35A Lightning IIs fly over Alaska during exercise Red Flag 20-3, Aug. 17, 2021. The 4th Fighter Squadron, from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, recently returned from three weeks of training in Alaska, including Red Flag 20-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

An F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron climbs into a cockpit during RED FLAG-Alaska 20-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 4 2020. This iteration of RF-A was the first to feature F-35s, the newest generation of fighter aircraft in the Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Annalou Huerta)

An F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron climbs into a cockpit during Red Flag-Alaska 20-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 4 2020. This iteration of Red Flag was the first to feature F-35s, the newest generation of fighter aircraft in the Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Annalou Huerta)

A picture of F-35s flying

An F-35A Lightning II flies over Alaska, Aug. 17, 2021. The 4th Fighter Squadron, from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, recently returned from three weeks of training in Alaska, including Red Flag 20-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

A picture of F-35s flying

F-35A Lightning IIs fly over Alaska during exercise Red Flag 20-3, Aug. 17, 2021. The 4th Fighter Squadron, from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, recently returned from three weeks of training in Alaska, including Red Flag 20-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) --

The 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron, along with Reservists from the 419th FW, returned to Hill Air Force Base, Aug. 22, after three weeks of training in Alaska, including Red Flag 20-3 at Eielson Air Force Base.

 

Red Flag is a large force combat exercise that takes place several times each year at both Eielson AFB and Nellis AFB, Nevada, where a friendly “Blue Force” takes on an enemy “Red Force” over several days in a variety of taxing, combat-realistic scenarios.

 

Red Flag was originally designed after the Vietnam War to provide younger pilots experience before heading into combat. It still does, but it also provides a validation of an entire squadron’s readiness – from pilots, to maintainers, intelligence and other support personnel.

 

During this exercise, the 4th FS integrated with F-35A Lightning IIs from Eielson AFB and F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; KC-135 Stratotankers from Fairchild AFB, Washington; and special operations forces on the ground.

 

This was the first all fifth-generation fighter force at Red Flag, and included scenarios that focused on “Day One of the war,” said Capt. Christian Lindenberg, F-35 pilot and the 4th FS project officer for Red Flag. 

 

Preparing and deploying in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and executing at a high level, was a testament to the adaptability and resilience of the entire squadron and aircraft maintenance unit, said Lt. Col. Joshua Arki, 4th Fighter Squadron commander.

 

“This was the first time the F-35 participated in Red Flag Alaska. Our jets and integrated operations and maintenance team performed phenomenally,” Arki said. “Coupled with our joint team – consisting of the F-22 Raptor, command and control elements, and special operations forces on the ground – the enemy did not stand a chance in the training scenarios. We expect the same outcome if called upon to execute this mission in combat.”

 

The squadron generated and flew up to 16 sorties each training day during the exercise, but flying is just half the battle for young pilots at Red Flag. The real test often comes in mission planning and debriefing.

 

A typical mission-planning day starts at 5 a.m. and lasts for approximately 12 hours.

 

“That’s where we find out what the objective is, what other assets we have to work with and decide what our game plan will be,” Lindenberg said.

 

The day of the mission starts with another pre-dawn brief from the mission commander and flight leads, and then it’s time to go “kick down the door” with a mass of joint air power, Lindenberg said. After the mission is complete, the most critical training element for pilots begins – reviewing and deconstructing the mission.

 

“It is the most valuable part of any sortie,” Lindenberg said. “It’s where we pinpoint what we could’ve done better even if the mission was a success. In an environment like Red Flag, where we work together with aircraft and personnel, we don’t normally fly with on a regular basis, we learn how to best capitalize on everyone’s strengths to create an imposing force of offensive counter-air.”

 

First Lt. Alex Best graduated the F-35 basic pilot training course in June and joined 4th FS. Six weeks later he was flying with a large, integrated force in the Air Force’s premier combat exercise.

 

“It was a little overwhelming, just the sheer number of aircraft and the size of the training range is amazing,” Best said. “I am confident in the F-35’s capabilities. But, the bigger takeaway for me was the caliber of all the Airmen I’m flying with. That’s what makes me confident we can win any fight. Their skill and preparation is unmatched and a large exercise like this really highlights that experience.”

 

Engage

Twitter
Capt. Joseph Scerra, an F-15C Eagle pilot, is the first 159th FW pilot to complete a sortie w/ the F-35A. The miles… https://t.co/HCi9TnGn5S
Twitter
The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
Twitter
The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
Twitter
Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
Twitter
The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
Twitter
Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
Twitter
Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
Twitter
A B-52 Stratofortress is rinsed off after a mission at Andersen AFB, Guam. Known as bird baths, this quick rinse… https://t.co/Q0N83eWt0V
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr was ceremoniously conferred a pin from the French Air and Space Force's Fighter Squadron 2/4 Lafayet… https://t.co/CLqypWZMPt
Twitter
#ICYMI - @USAF_ACC declared initial operational capability for the tactical air control party mobile communications… https://t.co/p09eQw9QXh
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: To date, @RamsteinAirBase has facilitated 42+ aircraft departures carrying more than 10,000 evacuees en-route to the USA a…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: With allies and partners, @INDOPACOM is committed to enhancing the stability in the Asia-Pacific region, by building secu…
Twitter
Aircraft and maintainers from across the #AirForce traveled to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to particip… https://t.co/w2xSJtXNr1
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #Airmen continue to establish support facilities, while also creating additional infrastructure, for the arrival of Afghan…
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
1,371,940
Follow Us