report by: Thierry Letellier
In 2001 Turkish Air Force Command consequently established its own air warfare training centre at Konya air base to be known as ‘Anatolian Eagle’ (AE).Before that Turkish Air Force (TurAF – Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) came for a first time in Nellis Air Force base in the United States , it happened in 1983 as observers to advanced training techniques status. But Turkish Air Force had to wait until 1997 to send six F-16C for a first participation to a Red Flag. Turkey is situated in the middle of a major stategic crossroad, at the boundary of Europe Asia and Middle-East. This country take fully part of NATO Alliance. With their experience in previous Red Flags, in 2001; Turkish Air Force Command décided to establish its own air warfare training centre at Konya air base. The given name was ‘ Anatolian Eagle ‘.
By creating a realistic operational environment, Anatolian Eagle; gives to the graduate pilots an essential load of Knowledge that will become vital when they will face to a real combat situation. Intot he structure of AE, we can find a Command & Control centre, EWT (Electronic Warfare Training) and Training Squadron and the Control Reporting Post. The Command & Control centre is divided in 3 branchs were we can find 131st AEW (Airborne Early Warning ) Squadron, 132nd Weapons and Tactics Squadron, 135th CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) and FAC (Forward Air Controller) Squadron. All this sophisticated structure work up to develop the most trustable scenario like, large scale flying packages or COMAOs (Composite Air Operations) or (DACT – Dissimilar Air Combat Training) To be more trusted the ground defences (principally surface to air missiles) along with Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) their radar controllers are also receiving valuable training. In different scenarios a whole series of missions are flown, from; OCA (Offensive Counter Air), SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences), DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defences), Reconnaissance, CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), CAS (Combat Air Support), HVAA (High-Value Air Asset) for offensive and defensive roles.
For this 2015 édition were noted Turkish Air Force: 65 F-16s from various squadrons-12 x F-4E/2020 Phantoms from 111 Filo and 171 Filo – 2 x CN.235M-100 of 202 Filo and 212 Filo Logistics Commander-1 x Boeing 737 AEW&C E-7T ‘Peace Eagle’ 131 Filo at Konya-2 x Eurocopter AS-532 Cougar. Turkish Army (TKK – Türk Kara Kuvvetleri): 2 x Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk and 2 x TAI T-129 ATACK helicopter- Pakistan Air Force: 6 x F-16 A/B MLU Fighting Falcons, 38 Wing, 9 Squadron – Royal Air Force: 8 x Typhoon FGR4/T3s of XI Squadron- Spanish Air Force: 6 x EF-18M Hornet, Ala 15- US Air Force: 12 x F-15C/D Eagles of 48FW, 493FS- German Air Force: 1 x Airbus A 310 ( FBS BMVg ).
All the major European members of NATO like Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, Spain, United Kingdom,NATO with (Airborne Warning And Control System) took part to AE since the bigining in 2011. Representing nearby counties were:Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan,Qatar, Israel, Jordan. Of couse the USA were often presents.
Globalairpower was fully enthusiastic with its first visit to Anatolian Eagle . The Turkish Air Force organisation was more than perfect to give us the occasion to report the quality of this superb event. Rendez-vous is yet fixed for next year .