141st ACS strengthens partnerships and readiness at Red Flag-Alaska 2024

  • Published
  • By Capt. Carlos Carrion
  • 156th Wing

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 141st Air Control Squadron, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, participated in this year’s Exercise Red Flag-Alaska, where they trained air operations interoperability among joint partnerships, focusing on suppression of enemy air defenses, offensive and defensive counterair operations at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, April 18 – May 3, 2024.

Red Flag-Alaska is a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise for military pilots and flight crew members to enhance air operations skills, improve interoperability and strengthen alliances and joint partnerships.

“Exercises like Red Flag-Alaska serve as the ideal platform for us to train and integrate with sister services and international partners to test and improve tactics, techniques and procedures between allied and coalition partners,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Carlos Carrion, an air battle manager assigned to the 141st ACS.

Large force employment exercises such as Red Flag enabled the 141st ACS Airmen to expand their training on a larger scale than Airmen would perform at their home station.

“As ‘Quijotes’ and proud combat operators, we are always training and looking for challenges; supporting flag-level exercises like this one allows us to hone our skill sets and further understand our partner’s capabilities,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ricardo Velez, a command and control mission system operator assigned to the 141st ACS.

Having PRANG Airmen training with international partners and operating from different bases across the Indo-Pacific and European theater provides mutually beneficial operational opportunities while promoting long-term relationships.

“The bonding and teamwork in these exercises developed character and leadership for our Airmen,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Angel Rios, the 141st ACS operations director. “We bought a mixture of experienced and inexperienced members to develop professional competence among our Airmen.”

During the exercise, PRANG command and control operators monitored radar screens and multiple radio frequency channels while identifying various aircraft and ground units based on flight and sensor data.

“I am very proud of how our ‘Quijotes’ represented the very best of the PRANG in such a high visibility exercise, including 21 units with over 1,700 personnel from all the U.S. service branches, Italian Air Force and Royal Netherlands Army, training their air control capabilities with participating diverse aircraft’s models,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jose Aldrich, the 141st ACS commander. “Our Airmen provided real-time information to aircrew and decision-makers, who could execute tactical decisions to accomplish the mission objectives through the exercise.