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353rd Combat Training Squadron

353rd Combat Training Squadron

This squadron is responsible for sponsoring training and experimentation in the JPARC. In this capacity, the squadron hosts Pacific Air Force’s RED FLAG-Alaska and Joint Chiefs of Staff Northern Edge exercises. The 353rd Combat Training Squadron was reassigned to the 354th Operations Group from the 611th Air Operations Group in 2006. The 353rd has a detachment at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. RF-A provides realistic full-spectrum combat training for the joint force and international partners.

Beyond RF-A, the 353rd hosts an increasingly broad number of combat training events on the JPARC. Each RF-A is executed during a three-week period, highlighted by two weeks of flying with deployment and redeployment tasks at both the beginning and end. The flying portion employs scenarios designed to replicate what aviation forces will face in the first 10 days of combat. Additionally, units from every Air Force Major Command, sister services and friendly nations provide support and crews to participate in each exercise.

The 353rd Combat Training Squadron also oversees operations and maintenance of the JPARC, which contains three weapons impact areas covering 90,000 acres and about 67,000 square miles of military training airspace, making it by far the nation’s largest contiguous supersonic training area. The JPARC contains 46 separate targets to help aircrew sharpen their ground attack skills. These targets include convoys, building complexes and several airfields complete with runways, taxiways, simulated hangars, dummy aircraft and infrared significant targets. The JPARC operates 42 radar-threat simulators for electronic warfare and defensive countermeasures training, and tracks aircraft with the Alaska air combat maneuvering instrumentation system, the most sophisticated air combat instrumentation system in the Air Force.

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