05 Aug 2019

US Air Force Strike Eagles take part in Navy exercise

US Air Force Strike Eagles have completed a joint exercise with the Navy in the Arabian Gulf.

U.S. Air Forces Central Command F-15E Strike Eagles attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron participated in an air operation in maritime surface warfare integration exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and a P-3 Orion in the Arabian Gulf, July 24. The training included the practice of techniques and procedures to encourage interoperability.

The F-15Es are based out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, while the USS Gonzalez is assigned to Commander Task Force-55 and the P-3C Orion is assigned to the CTF-57 based out of Bahrain. The aim is to build better relationships between AFCENT and NAVCENT and practice dynamic targeting and maritime air control with the USS Gonzalez.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Willing, 609th Air Operations Center Master Air Attack Plan Cell planner said: “This unit-level exercise reinforced integration of U.S. Air Force assets in support of U.S. Navy surface combatants. This training reinforces the very real-world missions they are already conducting.”

“The P-3C provides maritime domain awareness, can also function as a maritime air controller with long loiter times or employ its own weapons as required, the USS Gonzalez is operating in the Arabian Gulf to guarantee international freedom of navigation.”

The training aimed to increase flexibility and allow the Navy and Air Force to respond to threats in the area together. The exercise tested their ability to work in multiple domains at the same time and rapid combat capability.

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