Pakistan Makes Red Flag Debut

About 100 Pakistani airmen and a contingent of Pakistan air force F-16B fighters are taking part in the Red Flag multinational training exercise that runs through the end of July at Nellis AFB, Nev. This marks the first time that the Pakistan air force is participating in a Red Flag event. Nellis officials characterized this as “a tangible and symbolic demonstration of the deepening US-Pakistan strategic relationship.” For example, the US is selling more advanced F-16s to Pakistan and has been training Pakistani pilots to fly them. This iteration of Red Flag, RF 10-4, began Monday. It features Air Force E-3 AWACS aircraft, F-15s, F-16s, MC-130s, and KC-135s. Marine Corps and Navy EA-6Bs, EA-18Gs, and F/A-18s are also involved, as are NATO AWACS aircraft. Saudi F-15S aircraft and Singaporean F-16CGs are also taking part. (Nellis report by Lawrence Crespo) (Nellis release)