A Russian-built SA-15B air defense radar arrived at Eielson AFB, Alaska, earlier this month to provide realistic surface-to-air threat training for Air Force pilots. The tracked, mobile radar, codenamed “Gauntlet” by NATO, will join a network of other threat anti-aircraft systems, such as the older SA-2 and the more sophisticated SA-10, at the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex supporting Red Flag-Alaska exercises. The range can simulate high-density integrated air defense networks, creating a realistic and challenging environment for aircrew. The SA-15 arrived at Eielson by rail, April 21. Its presence will further enhance range capabilities and give aircrews the opportunity to encounter advanced threat systems before they would have to face them in real-world situations. (Eielson report by A1C Yash Rojas)
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.