Pakistani F-16s flew more than 7,700 miles to participate in Red Flag 16-4 at Nellis AFB, Nev., last month. The training, conducted Aug. 15-26, allowed the US and Pakistani air forces to improve integration, according to a 99th Air Base Wing release. Pakistani Air Vice Marshal Syed Noman Ali, the deputy chief of air staff, called the F-16 “the lynchpin in accomplishing our mutual desired objectives,” according to the release. After the State Department approved the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan in February, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the aircraft enables the Pakistanis to combat terrorism in their country. Ali said the Fighting Falcon has enhanced his country’s ability to achieve objectives on the ground and said joint exercises like the one at Nellis have “been amazing, productive, and mutually rewarding experience on both sides,” according to the release.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.