JB Langley-Eustis, Va., later this month will be the home for the largest trilateral exercise so far that features fourth and fifth generation fighters. USAF F-22s and F-35s, will fly with United Kingdom Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons, and French Air Force Dassault Rafales, with USAF F-15Es and T-38s providing red air in Exercise Atlantic Trident 17. The exercise is aimed at developing and sharing tactics, techniques, and procedures across nations with their most advanced aircraft. “To accomplish this, we will train together against a range of potential adversaries and threat systems,” 1st Fighter Wing Commander Col. Peter Fesler said in a release. An E-3C Sentry from Tinker AFB, Okla, will also deploy for the exercise. The exercise will run from April 12 to April 28 and will include 225 USAF airmen, 175 RAF airmen, and 150 French airmen, Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said Thursday. Langley hosted a similar exercise in 2015, but this is the first to include the F-35 strike fighter.
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.