Thawed in Chilly Air

Europe-based F-15C/Ds and C-130Js are taking part in tactical integration Exercise Real Thaw alongside several NATO allies at Beja AB, Portugal, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa announced. “We’re excited to be here, working side-by-side with our NATO allies, honing our joint air interoperability as well as tactical skills,” 493rd Fighter Squadron operations supervisor Lt. Col. Rob Fowler said in a release. Approximately 100 pilots, maintainers, and support personnel from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, UK, and some 60 personnel from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, arrived at Beja this week. Exercise scenarios include offensive and defensive counter-air, high-value asset protection, and airlift-fighter escort, according to a release. Aircraft and personnel from NATO allies Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, and Spain are also participating in the Portuguese-hosted Red Flag-style exercise, which runs from Feb. 22 to March 3.