More than 100 US active and reserve airmen are in Inquique, Chile, working with Chilean airmen in the first exercise employing Chile’s new F-16s, reports Capt. Sarah Schwennesen. Chile also flies F-5s so aspects of Exercise WILLKA will feature dissimilar air training. From the US came F-16s from Air Force Reserve Command’s 301st Fighter Wing at NAS JRB Fort Worth, and KC-135s from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 161st Air Refueling Wing at Phoenix.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.