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Courtesy photo
A-10 Thunderbolt from the 122nd Fighter Wing takes off at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Local Air Guard back after Alaska exercises

Members of the 122nd Fighter Wing and 10 Warthog jets returned to Fort Wayne on Tuesday after a 10-day exercise in Alaska.

The group participated in Red Flag Alaska, a high-intensity air-to-air and air-to-ground combat mission at Eielson Air National Guard Base near Fairbanks.

“Taking part in exercises such as Red Flag Alaska is essential to the preparedness of our airmen,” wing Commander Col. David L. Augustine said in a statement.

“This was a great opportunity to train with allied nations and experience working with live munitions. It simulates the first 10 days of combat in a war.”

The unit participated with 60 aircraft and 2,600 personnel, including Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy and Marines, as well as forces from Australia, South Korea and Japan.

States represented were Indiana, Alaska, California, Washington, Alabama, Louisiana and Oklahoma, according to the statement.

That kind of training allows military units to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures and improves interoperability, the 122nd Fighter Wing said.

“Being involved provided us the opportunity to learn a great deal about the capabilities of other platforms that we normally don’t get a chance to plan and execute missions with,” Maj. Jeremy Stoner, 122nd Fighter Wing weapons officer, said in the statement.