Largest Air Train in NATO Historical past Wraps Up: Right here Are A few of The Greatest Images

Air Defender 2023, the biggest air train in NATO’s historical past, wrapped up June 23 in Europe.

Over the course of two weeks, round 220 plane and 10,000 personnel from 25 international locations practiced large-scale air warfare, together with Purple Air aggressors to assist allied “Blue” crews study to work collectively towards a standard foe.

The train was led by Germany’s Luftwaffe and concentrated over three areas of Germany, with contributors additionally leveraging working places within the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Latvia.

Some 100 U.S. Air Power 100 plane joined in, most from the Air Nationwide Guard. USAF officers mentioned models from 35 states would fly F-35s, F-16s, F-15s, A-10s, KC-135s, KC-46s, C-130s, and C-17s in Air Defender. Pictures and releases shared in the course of the workout routines confirmed a B-1 bomber and an MQ-9 drone becoming a member of in as nicely.

Here’s a collection of among the greatest images from the occasion.


Whereas the Air Power plans to retire its total A-10 fleet within the coming years, the favored shut air assist plane featured prominently at Air Defender, with Guard models from Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan all sending ‘Warthogs.’

F-16s & F-15s

ANG models from Colorado, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Alabama, and the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, contributed fighters as nicely.


The Vermont Air Nationwide Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing, the primary Guard wing to get the F-35, despatched its fifth-generation fighters.


Workhorse C-130 Hercules cargo/transport plane performed a key position as nicely.

Different Plane

Tanker plane shaped an “air bridge,” offering the fuel wanted for fighter plane to make it throughout the Atlantic and to Europe. A B-1 carried out a scorching pit refuel in Romania, and an MQ-9 landed within the Czech Republic.

Accomplice Nations

After all, the U.S. wasn’t the one nation to ship plane—fighters and transport planes from a number of nations participated.

Floor Forces

Floor troops have been concerned within the train as nicely, coordinating shut air assist and leaping out of USAF C-130s.

Maintainers and Ammo

Personnel on the flightline and in upkeep hangars have been essential to holding plane able to go.

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