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Anatolian Eagle 2016/2, Konya AFB, Turkey

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.

Since 2001 the Turkish Air Force has hosted a military exercise known as Anatolian Eagle (AE). The Anatolian Eagle exercises are based upon the USA's Red Flag and the events simulate a war-time environment with the difficulty level increasing as combat missions intensify.

The aims of Anatolian Eagle:

Reduce the loss of inexperienced fighter pilots,
Decrease the loss of aircrafts,
Exchange the experiences,
Increase interoperability.

Airspace for Anatolian Eagle is 200 nm from east to west and 150 nm from north to south. The main operations airspace, also known as the Salt Area, can be used from ground level up to 50,000 feet.

There are both national and international exercises held. The international exercises usually involve air arms of the United States, other NATO forces, and Asian countries. Anatolian Eagle 16/2 involved air forces from 4 countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Italy plus Nato participation.


The Red Land is defended by opposing combat aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems. During the exercises, AWACS aircraft give command and control support to Blue Forces and a land-based radar gives GCI support to the Red Forces. Air-to-air refueling tankers refuel aircraft of both forces.

Training exercises are planned, monitored and analyzed in the 'White Headquarters' building. Exercises consist of scenarios whereby a "Blue Team" will attack tactical and strategic targets in a "Red Land" during Combined Air Operations (COMAO).

Frontline Aviation would like to thank the following for allowing access to Konya AFB during the Anatolian Eagle exercise:

Turkish Lt. Gen. Abidin Ünal, 1st Air Force commander.

Maj. Gen. Yilmaz Öskaya, 3rd Main Jet Base commander.

Upon completion of the exercises crews are de-briefed so that any deficiencies of the participants in terms of knowledge and abilities can be highlighted, and the lessons learnt applied to future missions.

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