Nevada’s NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE on February 8, 2023 – To replicate high-end combat operations against Chinese fighter aircraft and air defences, the United States, Britain, and Australia conducted combined air drills on Wednesday over the Nevada desert and elsewhere.
Reuters spent several hours with British troops during the three-week-long Red Flag drills that the United States was hosting onboard the British KC-2 Voyager refuelling tanker aircraft, which on Wednesday provided fuel for both American and British fighter jets.
Red Flag’s commander, Colonel Jared J. Hutchinson of the U.S. Air Force, stated the annual exercises were unrelated to any current affairs. Tensions increased on Saturday when a U.S. fighter jet downed a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina. “China is only the pace challenge we prepare for to be prepared.
We believe that if we are prepared for China, then we are ready for anyone, “Hutchinson stated, citing American strategy.
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The drills were primarily focused on tackling the vast distances that the United States, Britain, and Australia would face when operating across the Pacific and enhancing air force interoperability between the three nations.
That requires the crew of the Royal Air Force’s Voyager to act as a sort of aerial gas station by delivering air-to-air refuelling for fighter aircraft engaged in the fictitious mission.
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