Now that Pacific Air Forces has wrapped up Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3, the command’s next multi-national combat training exercise will appear as Red Flag-Alaska. Reportedly there were several variations in play for a name, including Red Flag North and Cooperative Red Flag. (And, service leaders have decided to rename the original Red Flag, traditionally hosted at Nellis AFB, Nev., as Red Flag-Nellis.) Gen. Paul Hester, head of PACAF, calls the merger of the two exercises “a real boost” for Air Force and allied training. One of the new participants this year, a contingent from the Swedish Air Force, traveled five days and 5,000 miles to participate. Lt. Col. Ken Lindberg, Swedish detachment leader, noted that his country realizes its “military needs to become more expeditionary.”
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.