IAF team to leave for U.S. today

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: A 247-strong contingent of the Indian Air Force will leave for the U.S. on Monday to participate in the 15-day multinational air exercise “Red Flag 08,” scheduled to be held at the Nellis Air Force Base from August 9.

The IAF will involve eight SU-30 MK-Is, two IL-78 air-to-air refuellers and one IL-76 transport aircraft. The contigent comprises 156 personnel below the officers rank and 91 officers (including 10 members of ‘Garud’ — IAF’s special force).

The “Red Flag” exercise, conceived in 1975, is held thrice every year at the Nellis Air Force Base. Besides the USAF, this exercise will see the participation of the South Korean Air Force and the French Air Force.

Ahead of the exercise, the IAF contingent will work at the Mountain Home Air Base in Idaho from July 18 to August 7; flying with the USAF’s F-16s and F-15s to streamline the procedures and understand the new flying environment.

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