The multinational air exercise 'Falcon Strike 32' continues from the Amendola air base, home of the 2021nd wing, one of the most important training events of the year organized by the Italian Air Force to promote standardization between air forces of different nations in terms of common training methodologies and operational tactics, and which is part of the integration process between 4th and 5th generation weapon systems that the Armed Force has been carrying out intensively since the entry into the line of the new F-35 fighter.
In the multinational exercise event, until June 15, they are busy beyond 50 aircraft - between fighters, transport and refueling aircraft in flight and other support assets - and about six hundred soldiers.
For the first time in Europe, they work together F-35A ed F-35B of four different nations among those that have joined the program Joint Strike Fighter (JSF): United States, Italy, United Kingdom and Israel.
On 8 June, a specific training activity focused on the expeditionary capacity of the Air Force took place at the Pantelleria airport detachment, which involved an F-35B of the 32nd wing of Amendola and one of the Royal Air Force, took off from the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, temporarily inserted in the exercise context and in navigation in the Mediterranean Sea. The two assets, after landing, carried out a ground refueling activity with the engines running, in technical jargon "hot-pit", from a KC-130J of the 46th Air Brigade of Pisa equipped with the ALARP system (Air Landed Aircraft Refueling Point) and operated by the staff of the 3rd wing of Villafranca (VR).
The exercise, under the command and control of the Aerospace Operations Command of Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), aims to reproduce an operational scenario in which complex aerial operations are carried out with 5th generation assets. During the event, flight crews and support teams have the opportunity to train in scenarios created to simulate various types of missions - including the protection of high-value aircraft assets, operations Close Air Support, air ban with strategic and tactical management, support for special forces on the ground, operations of targeting - in a complex, highly changeable and non-permissive context.
Numerous aircraft assets, both Italian and foreign, participating in the exercise, an event organized in full compliance with the regulations regarding the containment of the Covid-19 emergency.
For the Italian Air Force F-35A, F-35B and APR aircraft participate Predator of the 32nd wing of Amendola, F-2000 Typhoon of the 36th flock of Gioia del Colle and the 37th flock of Trapani, Tornado of the 6th flock of Ghedi, AMX and F-2000 Typhoon of the 51st wing of Istrana, T-346A of the 61st wing of Galatina, KC-767A and G550 CAEW of the 14th wing of Pratica di Mare; for the other countries, the F-35A and F-16C of the US Air Force, F-35B and A330 Voyager of the Royal Air Force and finally F-35A, G550 CAEW and Boeing 707 of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) participate.
In addition to the aerial components, specialized units of the Air Force participate in various areas: components of Force Protection of the 16th wing of Martina Franca, Special Forces of the 17 ° flock Incursori di Furbara, Counter UAS of the 16 ° flock and of the 32 ° flock, K9 canine unit of the AM Dog Center of Grosseto, as well as assets and deployable capacity of the 3rd flock of Villafranca.
The exercise, whose guidance is entrusted to the Air Force, has the 32nd wing of Amendola as its main redeployment base, but at the same time involves other AM bases in support function, including that of the 37th wing of Trapani and the Decimomannu standardization and aerial shooting department. The flight activities are carried out within airspace dedicated to training, within which EW (Electronic Warfare) and SBAD (Surface Base Air Defense) activities will be carried out; in this context, the SIRIUS command and control / radar system of the 2nd wing of Rivolto (Udine) and a SAMP-T component of the Italian Army will also operate.