Anatolian Eagle 2019 Training Exercise Conducted Successfully

Date: Issue 93 - July 2019

The Anatolian Eagle 2019 Training Exercise was conducted at the Konya 3rd Main Jet Base Command on June 17-28. In a realistically simulated operational environment, the Anatolian Eagle Training Exercise is executed both nationally and internationally every year at the Anatolian Eagle Training Center to increase the training level of pilots, air defence staff and controllers in operations, where they experience and improve joint and combined operation methods, which minimizes losses under real operation conditions and increasing task effectiveness to the maximum level. Since the establishment of the center, a total of 41 training terms composed of 23 international and 18 national and about 24,000 sortie flights have been accomplished with the participation of 15 countries. 

In this year’s international Anatolian Eagle 2019 Training Exercise, Azerbaijan Air Force participated with 3 observers, U.S. Air Force with 6 x F-15Es, Italian Air Force with 3 x AMX A-11s, Qatar Air Force with 1 x C-17 and 1 x C-130J,  NATO with 1 x E-3A, Pakistani Air Force with 6 x JF-17s, Royal Jordanian Air Force with 3 x F-16AM/BMs, Turkish Naval Force with 2 x Frigates and 1 Torpedo Boat. Turkish Air Force attended the event with 6 x F4E-2020s of the 111st Squadron, F-16C/D of the 113rd, 132nd, 152nd and 161st Squadrons, with KC-135R of the 101st Squadron, with E-7T of the 131st Squadron, with CN-235M and AS-532UL of the 135th Squadron and with C-160D “MİLKAR-2U” aircraft of the 221st Squadron. 

The Anatolian Eagle Training Center (AKEM) established at the 3rd Main Jet Base in 2001 is one of the world’s most developed tactical training centers with its broad airfield, realistic threat environment and serves many participants and pilots of friendly and allied nations. The Anatolian Eagle airfield featuring one of the greatest worldwide military training areas with a width of about 330 km at a North-South direction and about 400 km at an East-Westst direction enables many aircraft to realize their flight tactics without any limitations and without being affected by civilian air traffic.

During the training held at the Anatolian Eagle, the blue forces (units/elements attending the training) attack the targets in thethe red zone protected by the enemy’s air defence systems and the aircraft within the scope of the identified scenarios. During the training, F-16C/D jets from the 132nd Squadron of Weapons and Tactics fly and act as the red force, in other words the enemy. At the Anatolian Eagle Operation Center, data/information transfer between all air vehicles, ground threat systems, early warning aircraft, ground surveillance radars and all components are monitored in real-time, coordinated and evaluated. The Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation – ACMI System is used to this end. An ACMI System is installed on the air platforms in the form of an external pod and enables the air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training of the pilots and operations in an effective fashion. On account of the RF data link with a high range and high speed features and integrated processors, the ACMI System is capable of advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training capabilities such as a real-time autonomous position generator, weapon simulation and real-time hit notification. Within the scope of the training, the MİLKAR-2U intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft of the 221st Squadron identified the ground targets on the training field and designated the targets to the aircraft commissioned to attack with the air-to-ground task under the blue forces. In the recent period, the development of joint and combined operation methods of the Naval and Air Forces units/elements are of great importance to the TAF. Within this framework, another scenario of the training was the joint operation conducted with Frigates and Assault Boats cruising in the South Mediterranean. Moreover, some equipment was dropped by the Qatari C-17 and C-130-J aircraft as part of the training and meanwhile the blue forces executed the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) task.

Another considerable point in the Anatolian Eagle Training Exercise was the attendance of the U.S. Air Force in the operation with F-15Es despite the increasing tension between the U.S and Turkey. Additionally, the Pakistan Air Force joined the Anatolian Eagle Training with JF-17 aircraft that were co-produced between China and Pakistan this year. The Pakistan Air Force participated in the Anatolian Eagle Training due to logistic reasons with the F-16 Squadron during previous years.

Within the scope of the training exercise, “Spotter Days” were held on June 25-26 and over 300 local and foreign aviation photographers attended the event. Within the framework of the activities organized for Spotter Days, the Turkish Stars and F-4E 2020 aircraft performed  formation flight which was the first time in Turkish Aviation History and saluted the This formation flight accompanied by 6 NF-54/B and 4 F-4E 2020 was imprinted in the memories of the spotters as an historical moment. Moreoverall the participant aircraft passed overhead with various formation flights at this stage. On June 28, the International Anatolian Eagle 2019 Training Exercise was successfully accomplished with the deployment of all participants.