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USAF-Led Exercise In Europe Aims To Sharpen Air-To-Air Combat Skills – AVweb



USAF-Led Exercise In Europe Aims To Sharpen Air-To-Air Combat Skills – AVweb

Dozens of NATO fighter pilots congregated last week at Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a U.S.-led exercise designed to hone their dogfighting skills. The first-of-its-kind competition, dubbed “Ramstein 1v1,” challenged combat pilots from the U.S., U.K., Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany.

The meeting was assembled in light of Russian ground gains in Ukraine during the third year of the war that rages at “NATO’s doorstep,” as reported in the Air Force Times. The allied nations’ air forces envision a need to sharpen air-to-air combat skills as tensions with Russia and China threatened to boil over to a shooting war that would put some of the world’s most advanced air forces head-to-head for the first time in decades.

Aircraft on the ramp at Ramstein included U.S.-built F-35A Lightnings, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F/A-18s and A-4 Skyhawks, as well as Eurofighter Typhoons and French Dassault Rafales. Lt. Col. Michael Loringer, U.S. Air Force – Europe (USAFE) chief of weapons and tactics, said in a statement. “Basic fighter maneuvering is a foundational skill set for fighter pilots. It tests a pilot’s reaction time, physical stamina and situational awareness. There is no better way to build trust in a pilot’s aircraft or a pilot’s skills than to engage one-on-one.”

Last July, USAFE Commander Gen. James Hecker told the Air Force Times, “We don’t want to go to war with Russia, and I don’t think they want to go to war with us, either. But we need to make sure that we have the forces capable of deterring them so that nothing bad will happen.”

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