Smash and Dash Games

Escorted by F-16s and F-22s, B-1 bombers from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., flew a 10-hour strike sortie against heavily defended practice targets on the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. “The objective of this operation was to validate the long-range strike capability of the B-1s as well as the F-22’s and F-16’s ability to escort them into an anti-access target area,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Kunkel, commander of the 90th Fighter Squadron, the F-22 unit at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, that participated in the US Strategic Command drill on April 4. Pitted against an E-3 AWACS and “blue air” F-16s operating from Elmendorf-Richardson to the south of the complex, the escorting F-16 and F-22 package lifted off from Eielson Air Force Base west of the complex, preparing a path for the B-1s. This operation marked the F-22’s first participation in a large-scale exercise while equipped with the new Increment 3.1 software upgrade. The F-16s came from Eielson and Misawa AB, Japan. (Elmendorf-Richardson report by Capt. Ashley Connor)