2016 Event Review

Anatolian Eagle Exercise 2016, May 30 to June 10, 2016
Location: 3rd Main Jet Base Konya, Turkey
Admission: Not open to the public
Parking: N/A
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: Not an air show

Location of Anatolian Eagle

The Anatolian Eagle Training is conducted at the 3rd Main Jet Base at Konya. The city of Konya is located in the central region of Turkey, 1200m above sea level.

Konya is one of three Tactical Training Centers in the Western world, along with Nellis Air Force Base, home of Red Flag, in the USA and Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, home of Maple Flag, in Canada. Turkey's Anatolian Eagle exercises have become a great opportunity for air forces from Europe and the Middle East to train together.

The Mission:

• Provide realistic operational training domain

• Enable fighters to execute their tactics

• Provide a platform to exchange ideas

• Keep fighters and GCI controllers current

• Teach how to survive

For 2016 several exercises planned:

• 15-19 February, Turkey- Saudi Arabia Bilaterial Bilaterial Training

• 07-25 March, TURAZ Falcon (Turkey – Azerbaijan)

• 11-22 April, Anatolian Falcon AE 16/1 (National)

• 30 May – 10 June, Anatolian Eagle AE 16/2 (Turkey, Pakistan, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, NATO)

• 20-30 June, IṢIK CSAR Exercise (Multinational)

• 03-14 October, TUSAP Raiders (Turkey – Pakistan)

• 21 November -02 December, AE 16/3 & IṢIK (National)

Regarding the above list, we are sure it has changed due to events that have happened in Turkey since the exercise.

From the beginning of Anatolian Eagle in June 2001 until 2016, 14 countries along with NATO were invited and participated in these important exercises. Anatolian Eagle is intended to provide:

• Increase the operational training level of the pilots and air defense personnel in a most realistic operational environment,

• Exercise and develop joined and combined operational procedures,

• Decrease the losses to a minimum level and to increase mission effectiveness to a maximum level in real operation environment.

For Anatolian Eagle 16-2 the Operations Commander was Col. Mustafa Ertürk. 45 Turkish and 22 aircraft from allied nations were involved in this exercise. The elements of "Anatolian Eagle" were split in White HQ, Red and 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. The Blue Force was the primary target audience.

The Turkish Air Force participated with 35 F-16's and with 6 Phantoms , one UH-1 Huey, one Casa 235 and one C-130H in the exercise. Responsible for air refueling over the huge training area were the Turkish Air Force with a KC-135R and the Netherlands Air Force's KDC-10. The Pakistan Air Force were involved in Multi Role Mission's with 6 F-16's and the Royal Saudi Air Force with 8 Tornado's for SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) Missions. Also involved in SEAD Missions were the Italian Air Force with 6 Tornados.
The Turkish Phantoms were responsible for SEAD Missions. We saw the Phantoms with different pods, like the Pave Strike Pod and EL-8222 ECM Pod and weapons, like the Maverick or the Popeye. Most of the Turkish F-16's flown in Multi Role Missions, except 3 F16's from Diyarbakir, which were involved in CSAR Missions. The two AS-532 and the one UH-1H were also divided their time for multi role missions. The reconnaissance part of the exercise has been done by two NATO E-3A AWACS and one Turkish EW-7T Peace Eagle, with broadcasted live stream videos to mission control center at Konya, where the officers in charge got a real time view about the whole training scenario.
Additional key element of "Anatolian Eagle" was the use of different ground threat systems such as the SA-6 "Gainful", SA-8 "Gecko", SA-11 A/B "Gadfly", ZSU-23-4 "Gundfish", Skyguard /Sparrow Hawk and MTS. These threat systems brought this exercise to a real life time scenario. The second time in history of Anatolian Eagle, the Turkish Navy was the present. The in conclusion of AE 16-2 was to simulate real combat environment, flight safety and high quality training.

The Aviation Magazine Media would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Turkish Embassies in Germany and Austria, especially to the AETC (Anatolian Eagle Training Center) , the headquarters of the Turkish Air Force in Ankara, Major Mesut Yurtdan, 1st Lt. Mehmet Aslan and all the personnel on the base who assisted us for their support and hospitality.

Anatolian Eagle 2016-1 participating countries:

Turkish Air Force:

35 x F-16C/D from the airbases Konya (132 Filo-Dagger),Merzifon/Amasya (151 Filo-Bronze and 152 Filo-Raiders), Bandirma (161 Filo-Bat and 162 Filo-Harpoon), Diyarbakir (182 Filo-Hawk),  Balikesir (191 Filo-Cobra and 192 Filo-Tiger)
8 x F-4E/2020s from the airbases Eskisehir (111 Filo-Panterl)
1 x Boeing KC-135R
2x CASA-IPTN CN-235M-100
2 x Boeing EW-7T “Wiseman” (Boeing 737-7ES) 131 FiloEjder (Dragon) Konya
2 x EurocopterAS-532  Cougar

Royal Saudi Air Force:

6 x Tornado,11 Wing, Dhahran (King Abdullah Aziz Air Base)
A330 MRTT, 6 Wing, 24 SQN, Al Kharj (Prince Sultan Air Base)

Pakistan Air Force:

6 x F-16A/B MLU, 38 Wing, 11Sqn. (Arrows), Mushaf

Italian Airforce:

8 x TornadoIDS/ECR, 6 Stormo, 154 Gruppo, Ghedi and 50 Stormo, 155 Gruppo, Piacenza

Royal Netherland Air Force:

1x KDC-10, 334 sq, Eindhoven


2x E-3A Geilenkirchen, Germany

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

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