The 48th Fighter Wing trained alongside the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish air forces from May 23-27 during exercise Arctic Fighter Meet 2016.
Seven jets from the 492nd and 493rd Fighter Squadrons were brought to Norway to conduct basic fighter maneuvers with dissimilar aircraft to improve combined air operations.
"Back home we are training against like aircraft, other F-15s," explained Maj. Nick Norgaard, the Arctic Fighter Meet 2016 project officer. "The opportunity that is unique here is that we get to train with F-18s, F-16s and Gripens. That allows us to get a different perspective on how other aircraft maneuver because when we go to war, we don't expect to fight other F-15s."
This training exercise allowed forward-based U.S. Airmen and aircraft from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, to train with NATO allies and European partners, building on skill sets and improving every nation's ability to seamlessly work together.
"There are always challenges, that's why we do training like this," said Royal Norwegian Air Force Col. Baard Reidar Solheim, the Bodø Main Air Station commander. "We are getting better every time. To have different types of jets work together from different nations, there will always be different things to think about and different ways of doing things."
Training regularly with other nations improves the U.S. Air Force's interoperability with fellow air forces and increases all NATO allies’ and partner nations' overall ability to respond to crises together.