German Air Force Exercise Soon Underway in Alaska

9 July 2024

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Arctic Defender, a German Air Forces-led exercise, is scheduled to begin 8 July with primary flight operations over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and is scheduled to run through July 18.

As part of a monthslong exercise tour in the Indo-Pacific, known as Pacific Skies 24, Arctic Defender is the first stop for the trinational Future Combat Air System of Germany, France and Spain, and is a field training exercise for U.S. and international forces flown under simulated air combat conditions.

“With Pacific Skies 24, we as Europeans show our face in a part of the world that is so important to all of us. Together with Spain and France, we are deploying to the Indo-Pacific region and taking part in five different exercises,” said Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, German Air Force service chief.

Approximately 500 multilateral service members are expected to fly, maintain and support more than 60 aircraft from 12 units scheduled to participate, enabling them to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability with American Airmen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base, and U.S. Marines with Headquarters, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 (Reinforced), MAG-11, both at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

Arctic Defender training spans from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagements in the more than 77,000 square miles of airspace in the JPARC, which is the largest combat training range in the world.

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