2015 Event Review

Anatolian Eagle Exercise 2015-1 from June 8th to 19th, 2015 >
Location: : 3rd Main Jet Base Konya, Turkey
Admission: FREE
Parking: £3 / £4 for on-site parking.
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: None, not an air show
 
Anatolian Eagle patch or emblem

The Anatolian Eagle Exercise was conducted at the 3rd Main Jet Base at Konya, Turkey. The city of Konya is located in the central region of Turkey, 1200 m above sea level with a population of approximately 2,000,000 persons.

Similar in scope to the "Red Flag" and "Maple Flag" exercises "Anatolian Eagle" is the only tactical training center between Europe and Asia minor. The operational environment covers an area of 300x400 km and without any restrictions over the air space. The Training Center develops scenarios in line with the participant countries and arranges missions according to their training needs. Since the beginning of Anatolian Eagle from June 2001 until 2014, 14 countries were invited and participated in these important exercises. In this period 2,570 aircraft and 30,997 personnel made it possible to perform 21,873 missions.

Anatolian Eagle is intended to provide:

1) Increase the operational training level of the pilots and air defense personnel in a most realistic operational environment,
2) Exercise and develop joined and combined operational procedures,
3) Decrease the losses to a minimum level and to increase mission effectiveness to a maximum level in real operation environment

According to the Training Centre their function “is aimed to train the participants as they fight on various mission types and train them to survive, and maintain their combat readiness”.

The elements of “Anatolian Eagle” were split into the White HQ, the Red, and the Blue Force. The White HQ does the operation for the training scenarios, monitoring and commanding, evaluating and analyzing the training. The Red Force is the training aid for the Blue fighters with F-16’s and F-4E’s. The Blue Force is the primary target audience.

The elements of “Anatolian Eagle” were split into the White HQ, the Red, and the Blue Force. The White HQ did the operation for the training scenarios, monitoring and commanding, evaluating and analyzing the training. The Red Force was the training aid for the Blue fighters with F-16’s and F-4E’s. The Blue Force was the primary target audience.
Another element of “Anatolian Eagle” was the use of different ground-to-air defensive systems like the SA-6 “Gainful”, SA-8 “Gecko”, SA-11 A/B “Gadfly”, ZSU-23-4 “Gundis”, Skyguard Sparrow and Hawk missiles.

For the very first time Navy as well as Army units participated with this international exercise. The so called RED FORCE was represented by the No 142 Filo (Gazelle) The SEAD missions (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense was exclusively flow by the Turkish Air Force ( No. 151 Filo Tunc/Bronce). All other Turkish F-16´s took part in Multi Role tasks, together with aircraft from the British Royal Air Force, the Spanish Ejercito del Aire and the Pakistani Air Force.  Air to Ground operations were executed by Turkish Phantom. The Pakistani F-16 have received a MLU upgrade bei TAI (Turkish aerospace Industry). A total of 41 aircraft have been upgraded, the last one was handed over in December 2014. In charge for air cover for the Anatolian Eagle exercise was the USAF, which sent their legendary F-15s. Air refueling was provided by a Turkish KC-135R and a German Luftwaffe Airbus A 310.
Modern technology makes things happen – NATO AWACS together with Turkish EW-7T  broadcasted live stream video to the mission control located at Konya, where the officers in charge got a real time view about the whole training scenario.
At the end of the exercise some 1022 missions have been flown by the participating aircraft and crews.

For this year's event 1350 personnel were deployed. and byt the end of the exercise some 1022 missions have been flown by the participating aircraft and crews.

Anatolian Eagle 2015-1 participating countries:
Turkish Air Force:
42 x F-16C/D from the airbases Konya (132 Filo-Dagger)
Ankara/Akinci (141 Filo-Wulf and 142 Filo-Gazelle and 143 Filo-Oncel)
Merzifon/Amasya (151 Filo-Bronze and 152 Filo-Raiders)
Bandirma (161 Filo-Bat and 162 Filo-Harpoon)
Diyarbakir (181 Filo-Leopard and 182 Filo-Hawk)
Balikesir (191 Filo-Cobra)
12 x F-4E/2020s from the airbases Eskisehir (111 Filo-Panterl) and Malatya/Erhac (171 Filo-Pirates)
1 x Boeing KC-135R
2 x CASA-IPTN CN-235M-100
1 x Boeing EW-7T "Wiseman" (Boeing 737-7ES) 131 Filo Ejder (Dragon) Konya
2 x Eurocopter AS-532 Cougar
Turkish Army:

2 x Sikorsky S-70A 28E Blackhawk

2 x TAI T-129 Atack

Royal Air Force, UK: 8 x Typhoon FGR4/T3, XI Sqn., Coningsby
Spanish Air Force: 6 x EF-18M , Ala 15, Zaragoza
Pakistan Air Force: 6 x F-16 A/B MLU, 38 Wing, 9 Sqn., Mushaf
US Air Force: 12 x F-15C/D, Lakenheath, UK
German Air Force: 1 x Airbus A 310, Köln-Bonn
Nato: 2 x E-3A Geilenkirchen, Germany

The Aviation Magazine Media crew would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Turkish Embassies in Germany and Austria, especially to the AETC (Anatolian Eagle Training Center) Squadron Commander Lt.Com. Hasan Saffet Celikel, the headquarters of the Turkish Air Force in Ankara, Major Mesut Yurtdan, 1st Lt. Umut Uskup and all the personnel on the base who assisted us for their support and hospitality. Hope to see you again next year!

Report and photography by Peter Thivessen and Wolfgang Jarisch for The Aviation Magazine

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