Luke's Italian F-35 instructors participate in the "Red Flag"

(To air Force)
12/03/19

The exercise "Red Flag 19-2" started yesterday at the Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), in Nevada (USA). For the first time, a multinational F-35A department (USA, Italy and Norway) takes part in this historic exercise, namely the 62nd Fighter Squadron by Luke AFB, to which three Italian instructors are also assigned. The group, belonging to the 56th Fighter Wing, has as its mission the training of pilots and instructors on F-35A aircraft.

Italy is committed, for the first time in one of the most complex air exercises in the world, with the F-35A aircraft, the most advanced fifth generation weapon system in existence: with low observability (stealth), exceptional and unique capabilities of superior information management, it will be the main protagonist and fundamental enabler of the complex Red Flag scenarios, which include advanced and modern air and land threats, and whose mission objectives can only be achieved through high interoperability, integration and synergy between participating fourth and fifth generation air assets.

"The F35 is able to see where aircraft of previous generations do not see," said Major. Giuseppe A., one of the Italian instructors who participates in the exercise and who emphasized how "the F35 is able to counter and eliminate advanced threats that instead fail to see us; at the same time this information can be passed to allied aircraft "All this allows us to carry out missions in the presence of threats with the use of a number of assets reduced by half compared to the past. This is what awaits us in Nellis"

The Red Flag aims to operate the aircraft jointly, consolidating the ability to use the weapon systems supplied, validating the respective operational tactics and with particular emphasis on the integration between the assets. With reference to the use of the F-35A component, Italian pilots will play leading roles, conducting tactical leader missions. There will be more than 60 flying platforms at the same time, including: F-35A, F-15E, F-15C, F-15SA, F-15SE, F-16A MLU, F-16E Block 60, E / A -18G, B-1B, KC-135 Tanker, E-8 JSTAR, EA-3C AWACS, MQ-9, HH-60, HC-130J, KC-767 Tanker.

"Italian participation has a further relevance: the long and delicate organization of the exercise for the 62ndFighter Squadron has been entrusted, for the first time, to a non-US but Italian instructor, major Alessandro P., as Project Officer "commented the col. Igor Bruni, commander of the Italian Military Representation, "a tangible sign of the recognized professionalism of our pilots in the international arena".

The Pilots Section at the headquarters of Luke (Arizona) reports to the Italian Military Representation of Eglin (Florida), an inter-force reality, reporting directly to the Directorate of Program JSF of the General Secretariat of Defense, which is in charge of managing the training of all Italian military personnel (sailors, technicians and maintenance personnel), both of the Air Force and of the Navy, designated to operate on the national F-35 aircraft, in the "A" versions with conventional take-off and "B" with short take-off and vertical landing .

Photo: US Air Force / Aeronautica Militare