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IAF contingent arrives in US to participate in Red Flag 24 exercise

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 31-05-2024
IAF contingent arrives in US to participate in Red Flag 24 exercise Military exercise 5 min read

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has landed its most advanced fighter aircraft, Rafale, at the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, United States, to participate in the multinational Red Flag 24-2 exercise. The Red Flag-Alaska 24-2 will be a two-week military exercise starting on 30 May 2024 and ending on 14 June 2024. 

According to the United States Air Force, around 3100 personnel will be deployed to support over 100 aircraft from four nations participating in Red Flag-Alaska 24-2.

India and the United States regularly conduct bilateral exercises, and India conducts more military exercises with the United States of America (USA )than with any other country. 

About the Red Flag Military Exercise 

The Red Flag exercise was started by the United States Air Force after the Vietnam War in 1975. The Red Flag Alaska was initially known as Cope Thunder and was based in the Clark Air Base Philippines. It was later renamed Red Flag Alaska in 2006 and moved to the  Eielson Air Force Base of the United States. 

The Red Flag Alaska is conducted by the  Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).

The United States Air Force conducts several military exercises code named Red Flag in a year. The first Red Flag exercise in 2024 is called 24-1, and so on. The Red Flag 24-1 exercise was exclusively for the United States Air Force. In the second exercise of the year, it invites friendly countries and its allies.

Each Red Flag -Alaska exercise is a multi-platform coordinated combat operations exercise designed to test the operational capability of participating units in a combat situation.

Indian Participation and Benefits from the Exercise 

The Indian Air Force has sent eight Rafale fighter planes, Il-78 mid-air refuelling aircraft, and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to Eielson Air Force Base. The IAF will participate in aerial combat against some of the most advanced US fighter jets.

The  Eielson Air Force Base hosts a unit comprising F-16 fighting falcons and two units of the United States Air Force’s (USAF) F-35s.

The F-16 is one of the most popular and deployed fighter aircraft in the world, and the F-35 stealth fighter plane is considered to be the best fighter aircraft in the world.

The IAF will gain valuable experience by training with one of the best combat aircraft and weapon systems. 

This is the first time the IAF Rafael will train with the F-35 stealth fighters. 

Valuable experience in dealing with China’s J-20

It will be a valuable experience for the IAF as China has J-20 fighter aircraft. The Chinese claim that the J-20 aircraft are in the same class as the F35 planes. China has frequently deployed the J-20 along the Indian border, especially in Ladakh. It was reported that during the Galwan border clash between the Indian and the Chinese forces in  June 2020 the Chinese had deployed their J-20 to counter the IAF deployment in the region.

In future, the Indian Air Force will have to deal with the J-20 planes in case of conflict with China. India does not have any stealth plane in its possession.



Answer: It is conducted by the United States Air Force in Alaska, United States of America.

Answer: It is an American Air Force Airbase in Alaska where Red Flag military 2024 was held.

Answer: Rafael fighter aircraft.
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