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Coalition partners participate in UAE's large force exercise

A United Arab Emirates F-16 Desert Falcon prepares to connect with a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. The UAE F-16 pilot partnered with the U.S. asset to maintain proficiency in aerial coupling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

A United Arab Emirates F-16 Desert Falcon prepares to connect with a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. The UAE F-16 pilot partnered with the U.S. asset to maintain proficiency in aerial coupling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

A French Air Force Dassault Rafale receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. Assets under U.S. Air Forces Central Command maintain a constant partnership with regional air forces to augment and perfect capabilities while striving for operational harmony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

A French Air Force Dassault Rafale receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. Assets under U.S. Air Forces Central Command maintain a constant partnership with regional air forces to augment and perfect capabilities while striving for operational harmony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. The 908th EARS, part of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, is responsible for delivering fuel to U.S. and coalition forces, enabling a constant presence in the area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 28, 2019. The 908th EARS, part of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, is responsible for delivering fuel to U.S. and coalition forces, enabling a constant presence in the area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

The Blue Team breaks into small groups during mission planning for a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

The Blue Team breaks into small groups during mission planning for a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

The Blue Team breaks into small groups during mission planning for a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

The Blue Team breaks into small groups during mission planning for a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Capt. Patterson Aldueza, U.S. Air Forces Central Command AWC intelligence branch officer, briefs mission planning during a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Capt. Patterson Aldueza, U.S. Air Forces Central Command AWC intelligence branch officer, briefs mission planning during a large force exercise Aug. 27, 2019, United Arab Emirates. The exercise brought French, Emirati and American forces together to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates --

The coalition of U.S., French and Emirati Air Force’s collaborated in a two-day large force exercise beginning on Aug. 27 in United Arab Emirates.

The UAE Air Warfare Center kicked off the exercise by forming two opposing teams, Red and Blue, who began planning the mission which would be followed through the next day.

“The main objective of this exercise was to practice interoperability between numerous different nations and services,” said Maj. Karl Wilson, U.S. Air Forces Central Command AWC fighter branch chief. “We practiced a strike mission in an area heavily defended by enemy aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems. There were many tactical lessons learned, but we did successfully strike the targets with minimal losses to friendly forces.”

A lot of aircrew and aircraft came together to make the exercise possible to include: French Rafales; Emiratis F-16 Fighting Falcons; U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler and a destroyer. The U.S. Air Force provided F-35A Lightning IIs (4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron), F-15E Strike Eagles (336th EFS), F-15C Eagles (159 EFS), an E-3 Sentry (968th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron), and a KC-10 Extender (908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron).

“The AAWC’s mission is to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with our allies,” said Capt. Patterson Aldueza, AAWC intelligence branch officer. “These exercises highlight our coalition’s strengths and help us identify our weaknesses so that we may be more effective and lethal as a team.”

In partnership with the UAE AWC, the AFCENT AWC staff has a big hand in facilitating the exercise and allowing aircrew to train like they fight as a coalition and to gain experience in a safe environment.

”It is tremendously rewarding to see aircrew learn valuable lessons that they will carry with them into combat,” said Aldueza.