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Colombian Kfir fighters train with the Thunderbolt and Fighting Falcons at Nellis Air Force Base

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


Colombian Air Force on the six Kfir fighter jets takes part in air-to-air combat training exercise with A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron “the Bulldogs” and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing that is hosted at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

According to the United States Air Force’s statement, Six Colombian Air Force Kfir fighter jets on their way to Red Flag 18-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, stopped at Davis-Monthan AFB from July 5-16, to train with A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Red Flag is the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise that is hosted at the Nevada Test and Training Range. Red Flag 18-3 will provide the Colombian Air Force the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties in the safe training environment with the U.S. Air Force.

“This week is very important here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base because our pilots and aircrew can train alongside members of the United States Air Force, which allows a better training environment for all,” said Colombian Air Force Brig. Gen. Pablo Garcia, Aerial Combat Command 1 commander.

Colombian Air Force Brig. Gen. Pablo Garcia, Aerial Combat Command 1 commander, and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) partner nation liaison officers take a group photo in front of the Colombian Kfir fighter jet Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 7, 2018. Photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz

The Colombian Air Force sent 130 personnel to support the six Colombian Kfirs fighter jets and one Colombian Air Force 767 Multi-Mission Tanker Transport Jupiter. While at Davis-Monthan AFB, the Kfirs flew air-to air combat training missions with A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron “the Bulldogs” and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing.

“It was amazing training, an amazing warm up before Red Flag,” said Colombian Air Force Maj. Freddy Figueroa, 111th Fighter Squadron commander. “We are very proud, it was a very high honor to fly with the bulldogs, with the vipers.”

Colombian Kfir fighter jets hold on the flightline as they prepare for a launch at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 7, 2018. Photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Julian Pachecho, 162nd Fighter Wing alert commander, has been the Colombian country manager for the 162nd Wing for the last eight years. He worked directly with them in preparation for Red Flag 18-3.

“I actually helped them train for their first trip to Red Flag in 2012. Over the last nine months I’ve made another three trips down to Colombia,” Pachecho said. “I think the Colombians are a hard-working force and I look forward to seeing their success in Red Flag.”

During the Colombian Air Force’s time at Davis-Monthan AFB, they visited 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), met with 12th AF (AFSOUTH) commander Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, and partner nation liaison officers from Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II taxies next to a Colombian Kfir fighter jet on the flighline at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 7, 2018. Photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz

“I was lucky enough to fly with the squadron when I visited Palanquero (Colombia) back in March,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander. “When I flew with them they were ready for Red Flag and this visit gets them even more ready and more confident, they are very ready and very prepared.”

Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) is the air and space component to U.S. Southern Command, and conducts security cooperation and provides air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout the 31 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Colombian Kfir fighter jets fly in a formation over Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 9, 2018. Photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz

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