IAF team preparing to take part in US war games

August 4th, 2008 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of F-16

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent, currently in the US to participate in a multi-nation war exercise, is undertaking a “work up phase” for better synchronization with the participating teams. “The IAF team is shaping up well for the main exercise Red Flag scheduled to commence at Nellis air force base in Nevada from Aug 9. The contingent has flown over a hundred sorties in what can be termed as a ‘cost effective deployment’ with the team making full use of the training infrastructure made available to it,” said IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Mahesh Upasini here.

Though India has participated in many US-led war games, this is the first time at the Red Flag, considered one of the toughest military exercises. This edition of the Red Flag will feature air force contingents from France, South Korea, India and the US.

The IAF contingent, comprising eight SU-30 MK-I aircraft, two IL-78 air-to-air re-fuellers and one IL-76 transport aircraft, set off for the US July 7. The team has 156 IAF personnel including 91 officers.

“The work up phase is being carried out so that the IAF contingent, which is taking part in the exercise for the first time, familiarises itself with the flying procedures, radio telephony terminologies, codes and other aspects of the exercise,” Upasini added.

The IAF’s ‘Garud’ commandos will also be taking part in stimulated hostage rescue operations in urban warfare scenarios.

The team is presently at the Mountain Home air force base in Idaho located at a height of 920 metres above sea level.

“The contingent is using Mountain Home base to hone their skills on operating in USAF (US Air Force) environment. For this purpose, squadrons of US F-16s and F-15s are flying missions with IAF aircraft,” said Upasini.

The work up phase will conclude Aug 7.

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