Turkey, U.S. kick off international weapons training exercise

KONYA, Turkey (AFNS) — An inter­na­tion­al weapons-train­ing deploy­ment involv­ing Turk­ish and U.S. air forces began here March 5 and lasts until March 15.

KONYA, Turkey — F‑16 Fight­ing Fal­cons from Spang­dahlem Air Base, Ger­many, line the run­way of Konya Air Base, Turkey, before take­off dur­ing exer­cise Ana­to­lian Fal­con 2012. Dur­ing the bilat­er­al train­ing exer­cise the squadron will fly mis­sions includ­ing air inter­dic­tion, attack, air supe­ri­or­i­ty, defense sup­pres­sion, air­lift, air refu­el­ing and recon­nais­sance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Ben­jamin Wil­son)
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The 480th Fight­er Squadron from Spang­dahlem Air Base, Ger­many, and the Turk­ish air force’s 3rd Main Jet Base com­bined their efforts dur­ing Ana­to­lian Fal­con 2012, an exer­cise designed to strength­en joint oper­a­tions between the two allied countries. 

Turk­ish air force Col. Ercan Dur­sun, 3rd Main Jet Base Oper­a­tions Group com­man­der, expressed his appre­ci­a­tion for the U.S. Air Force’s com­mit­ment to build­ing rela­tions and mil­i­tary interoperability. 

“It’s good to see you here,” Dur­sun said dur­ing open­ing remarks at an ini­tial mass brief­ing March 4. “I hope we will have a fruit­ful exercise.” 

He went on to say that one of the main goals of the train­ing is to share lessons learned. By work­ing togeth­er, the two air forces can indi­vid­u­al­ly evolve into a more flex­i­ble force. 

“Train­ing with the Turk­ish air force now ensures smooth com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tac­ti­cal effec­tive­ness if we should ever have to go to war togeth­er,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Mur­ray, 480th Fight­er Squadron com­man­der. “Our air forces pride them­selves on adapt­abil­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty, and this exer­cise show­cas­es those capa­bil­i­ties by allow­ing us to work with our inter­na­tion­al part­ner in fast-paced train­ing scenarios.” 

Some of the sce­nar­ios are set up to have spe­cif­ic tar­gets plot­ted on a map inside of a mock high-threat zone. The Turk­ish and U.S. air forces must inte­grate their air­craft fleet to assess any threats in the area and neu­tral­ize the plot­ted tar­gets. Addi­tion­al “pop­up” threats may appear at ran­dom times and posi­tions through­out the train­ing. The “pop­up” threats could be some­thing as small as an ene­my ground-forces mem­ber aim­ing a sur­face-to-air mis­sile launch­er at an aircraft. 

Oth­er sce­nar­ios are air-to-air, mean­ing two teams of air­craft mock bat­tle in the skies over Turk­ish air force’s Konya Air Base. 

“The 480th is excit­ed to get on the road to fly with our NATO ally and strength­en the bonds that have been built dur­ing the last 60 years,” Mur­ray said of both nations’ ded­i­ca­tion to ensur­ing region­al peace and stability. 

U.S. Air Force 

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