U.S. Prepares for Western Pacific Conflict with Alaska Combat Training – The United States Air Force recently trained F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle military aircraft as part of the Alaska Dissimilar Aircraft Combat training to improve the interoperability between the fighter planes.
The Air Force also confirmed that the training was part of an effort to execute planned missions in the western Pacific, prompting concerns about whether the U.S. government expects conflict in the region in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
What Was the Recent Exercise?
According to recent reports, the military exercise in Alaska had two main goals. First, the Air Force aimed to free up more F-22 fighter planes, ready to be deployed to the Pacific, and secondly, to detect, identify, and engage with any possible threats to the United States.
“Sitting alert trains the alert squadron for protecting the northern border and the North Pole area from any threats that may encroach upon US airspace,” Air Force Lt. Col. Jon Vanbragt said.
“The F-22 Raptors have a high demand for their presence in the Pacific Theater and Europe.”
Vanbragt also said that the presence of F-15 fighter jets was essential for their mission in Alaska and that U.S. forces are preparing to protect the northern border of the United States and the North Pole from “threats that may encroach upon U.S. airspace.”
Given recent threats from the Kremlin over NATO’s continued supply of weapons to Ukraine, the exercise may also provide the Air Force with an opportunity to prepare for the possibility of direct military conflict with Russia.
Another Air Force official, Lt. Col. Brenden Trophy of the 90th Fighter Squadron, said that F-22 units are always looking for new partner squadrons to integrate with.
More About F-15 and F-22 Fighters
The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine tactical fighter aircraft built by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. First introduced in 1976, the aircraft has since been modernized and used widely by the United States Air Force. The aircraft has also been sold to Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The plane can carry a number of different air-to-air missile systems, including AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles and AIM-9L/M Sidewinders.
Boeing describes the F-15 as an “affordable, low-risk solution that maintains capacity and adds capability to the U.S. Air Force while preserving the Air Superiority and Homeland Defense missions.”
The F-22, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is also a twin-engine aircraft. The F-22 features a more modern design and operates as a stealth aircraft. It has primarily used by the United States Air Force and was first introduced in 2005.
According to Boeing, the F-22 “offers a combination of stealth, speed, maneuverability, and robust warfighting capabilities.” The fighter plane is equipped with a suite of precision missile systems and sensors.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.