Between 20 June and 1 July 2022 the international edition of exercise Anatolian Eagle took place at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya, Türkiye.
Lowpass aviation went to Türkiye to see where this exercise is all about.
The Anatolian Eagle Training Center is located at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya. The Training Center is a high level tactical training center, providing realistic combat training opportunities to the Turkish Forces and friendly partner nations.
In the year 2000 Konya airbase and the surrounding area where chosen as the permanent site for the Anatolian Eagle Training complex, because of the modern infrastructure at the large airbase and the huge space nearby the base.
The exercise area covers lake Tuz and surrounding areas, with a size of 300 x 400 km enabling the participants to employ their skills and flight tactics without any limitations and also without being affected by civilian air traffic. The Anatolian Eagle Training Center is the only tactical training center in the European area. The first edition of the exercise took place in June 2001, since its establishment in the year 2001 44 Anatolian Eagle Training exercises have been held.
Execution of exercise Anatolian Eagle :
Exercise Anatolian Eagle is in some ways similar to the Red Flag exercises which are being held in The Unites States at Nellis Airbase in the state of Nevada. The AE trainings are realized in close to real war environment, with scenarios from easy to hard situations, with the advantage of high technology and by monitoring the quality of the AE trainings on computer environment. The aim is to test the knowledge and abilities of all the participants and to raise the level of the trainings by detecting the weak points and the deficiencies of all the participants.
Exercise Anatolian Eagle will enhance the training level of the participants by creating a realistic combat theatre within a specific scenario, Blue Forces conduct combined air operations (COMAO) attacks against targets on the so called Red land defended by various fake surface to air missile (SAM) sites and with the necessary Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation equipment (ACMI), in addition to the surface to air assets Red Force aggressor aircraft manned by the most experienced pilots of the Turkish Air Force will give the Blue Force participants a hard time by using aggressor tactics in a simulated war environment and force them to stay away from the target area in order to let them get the best training opportunities in a realistic scenario. The Red Force aggressor role is taken up by the F-16’s from the Konya based 132 Filo.
In the Anatolian Eagle Training Center all airborne aircraft, threat systems and other can be visualized on real time basis and post mission assessments can be made in a high realistic way.
- To increase the operational training level of the pilots, ground crew and air defense personnel in a most realistic operational environment
- To exercise and develop joint and combined operational procedures
- To decrease the attritions to a maximum level in real operation environment
- Give a chance to fighter pilots to execute their planned tactics and flight skills to employ in large force compositions
- Provide a forum to exchange ideas and lessons learned
- Train the participants as they fight and teach them how to survive
- To train for an even more effective cooperation between friendly partner country’s
Participants international AE training 2022:
This year’s international edition of exercise Anatolian Eagle saw the participation of five international participants and the NATO NAEW & CF. Well known participants Jordan and Pakistan where present again this year, they both took part with F-16’s, The Azerbaijan Air Force participated for the first time in the exercise last year during the international edition of 2021, this year they took part with two Su-25 Frogfoots. Furthermore the Royal Air Force’s 3 (F) squadron which currently is part of Operation Biloxi in Romania took part with 4 Eurofighter Typhoons. An E-3A AWACS of the Nato Airborne Early Warning Force also participated in the exercise.
Besides the International aircraft the Turkish Air Force took part with several F-16’s and an E-7T of the Konya based 131 Filo, a KC-135R of the 101 Filo and an ANKA-S UAV from 302 Filo also supported the exercise, they flew the AE missions from their home base in Incirlik.
The following countries participated in the exercise as observers:
Bulgaria, Chad, Ethiopia, South Africa, Georgia, Qatar, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Libya, Malaysia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Oman.
Debut of the Akinci-B UCAV at Anatolian Eagle:
For the first time the Bayraktar Akinci-B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle of the Turkish private defense company Baykar took part in exercise Anatolian Eagle. PT-5, which is the fifth prototype of the Akinci UCAV and the second Akinci-B, was brought to the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya to take part in the exercise. The Akinci-B is currently in the last fase of flight trails and is expected to enter active service within the Turkish Air Force soon.
Ramstein Dust II-2022, RADU II-22:
This NATO deployment and readiness exercise was held between 20 and 28 of June at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya, and was carried out in close collaboration with the International Anatolian Eagle Training. For this occasion a convoy of 30 military trucks with personnel and equipment from NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Centre was deployed from its home base in Poggio Renatico, Italy to Konya airbase.
This edition of Anatolian Eagle marked the first time that NATO’s surveillance and control unit’s new Deployable Air Defense Radar (DARS) had been deployed to a NATO nation. During the first week of AE the DARS was linked with the Turkish control network and provided control of fighter operations. NAVO AWACS served as one of the key air command and control elements during the exercise, together with the E-3A AWACS aircraft of the NAEW & CF and NATO’s national control and warning centers, provided a unique training opportunity in implementing various methods of air operations.
Overview of Participating Aircraft :
- Pakistan Air Force: 11 squadron with F-16A/B MLU from Shahbaz airbase
- Jordanian Air Force: 1 squadron with F-16A/B MLU from Muwaffaq Al-Salti Al-Azraq airbase
- Royal Air Force: 3(F) squadron with Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 from Coningsby airbase
- Azerbaijan Air Force: Su-25 Eskadrilya with Su-25BM from Kurdamir airbase
- Nato Airborne Early Warning Force with E-3A from Geilenkirchen airbase
Overview of Participating Aircraft of the Turkish Air Force:
- 113 Filo F-16C/D Eskisehir airbase
- 132 Filo F-16C/D Konya airbase
- 151 Filo F-16C/D Merzifon airbase
- 161 Filo F-16C/D Bandirma airbase
- 181 Filo F-16C/D Diyarbakir airbase
- 191 Filo F-16C/D Balikesir airbase
- 131 Filo E-7T Konya airbase
- 101 Filo KC-135R Incirlik airbase
- 302 Filo Anka-S (UAV) Incirlik airbase
- Baykar / THK Bayraktar Akinci-B (UCAV)
Some of the F-16’s of the Turkish Air Force were seen with various other squadron markings and were probably on loan from other THK F-16 units or still wore the unit markings from their previous unit. The KC-135R of the 101 Filo and the Anka-S UAV of the 302 Filo were operating from their home base in Incirlik.
The Turkish Naval Forces supported the exercise with an assault ship and a fast attack ship.
The organization of exercise Anatolian Eagle can look back at another successful International edition of Anatolian Eagle, with an impressive 274 sorties flown in total during the exercise. On 29 June the AE goals were achieved and the last AE mission was flown on 30 June.
Exercise Anatolian Eagle has grown steadily in recent years, the aim of the Turkish Air Force is to expand the AE Training exercise even further, for example various new modern ops buildings, offices, hangars and ramps will be built and at the moment a lot of construction work is taking place at the airbase. The infrastructure will be further upgraded when necessary with state of the art equipment in the near future. The organization of the AE training plans to further expand the exercises with the newest scenarios taking place on the modern battlefield today and in the near future. It can therefore be concluded that the AE exercises will further develop into one of the more interesting and larger exercises in the European area and undoubtedly more Air Forces will be interested to participate in exercise Anatolian Eagle in the future.
The team of Lowpass Aviation.com would like to thank the Turkish Air Force for their hospitality, time and help. Special thanks goes to CM.sgt Cimen from the Public Affairs Office of the Turkish Air Force.