The US military completed Northern Edge 17, its premier annual joint exercise in Alaska, on Friday. The exercise began May 1 and brought 6,000 personnel and more than 200 aircraft to locations around the state to practice interoperability. A rich complement of aircraft participated in the event, including the F-22, F-15E, F-16C, F-35B, F/A-18D, EA-6B, KC-135, and KC-10. Northern Edge is “a unique exercise because it’s a chance for the Department of Defense to test new capabilities of current platforms against new and emerging threats,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Moeller, 13th Fighter Squadron commander, according to a press release. “Northern Edge gives us the opportunity to really practice the tactics, techniques and procedures that we would need in order to fight in such a vast Pacific Ocean theater,” said USMC Lt. Col. Stephen Driskill, US Strategic Command’s chief of staff at the Joint Electromagnetic Preparedness for Advanced Combat, in a previous release.
A Chinese fighter jet conducted an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver in front of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 last week, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command announced May 30, releasing footage of the incident. The intercept, which took place May 26, happened over the South China Sea in international airspace.