UAE joins Red Flag exercise for First time.


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Mar 21, 2009
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UAE joins US-led Red Flag air combat exercise for first time

The United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence (UAE AF & AD) has for the first time joined the Red Flag exercise, held this year at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, from 22 August to 5 September, the US Air Force (USAF) announced on 24 August.

The UAE is operating its Tucson-based Lockheed Martin F-16E Desert Falcon (Block 60) combat aircraft in the multinational air combat exercise. This contingent joins aircraft from the US and Italy to simulate air-to-air combat and air-to-ground interdiction missions, the latter involving attacking simulated airfields and surface-to-air missile systems, during the two-week exercise.

Previous Middle Eastern participants in Red Flag have included Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

UAE pilots and ground crew spent two weeks at the Arizona Air National Guard's (ANG's) 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport to prepare for the exercise, becoming familiar with US procedures and airspace.

UAE joins US-led Red Flag air combat exercise for first time

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