Anadolu Kartali 2015

Exercise Anatolian Eagle

Konya, Turkey, 

7 - 18 June 2015



Anatolian Eagle, the Turkish Air Force (THK, Turk Hava Kuvvetleri) variant of Red Flag, was staged again at its familiar Konya home base during June of 2015. The exercise, which like Red Flag aims to familiarise aircrew with actual combat conditions prior to engaging in actual combat attracted close to 100 participating aircraft, most of which operated from Konya. Among these were more than 40 Turkish Air Force F-16's as well as eleven F-4E-2020 Phantoms. 

Again, many of Turkey's partners were represented as well, with the most interesting by far being the Pakistani F-16's. NATO partner nations USA, UK and Spain sent respectively F-15C Eagles, Typhoons and EF-18 Hornets. 

As well as the aim stated above, Anatolian Eagle also seeks to exercise and develop joint and combined procedures, a feature of modern air operations that needs to be continuously trained.  

Most of the THK's F-16 squadrons took part, detailed below.

132 Filo, 3 AJU, Konya 141 Filo, 4 AJU, Akinci 142 Filo, 4 AJU, Akinci

151 Filo, 5 AJU, Merzifon  152 Filo, 5 AJU, Merzifon  161 Filo, 6 AJU, Bandirma

162 Filo, 6 AJU, Bandirma 181 Filo, 8 AJU, Diyarbakir 182 Filo, 8 AJU, Diyarbakir

191 Filo, 9 AJU, Balikesir 192 Filo, 9 AJU, Balikesir Eleven Phantoms from 111 and 171 Filos, respectively from Eskeshir and Erhac, took part as well, this example being from 111 Filo.

Star participants as far as rareness was concerned were the Pakistani F-16's. Four single seat F-16A's and a pair of two seat F-16B's took part. These jets were from 9 Sq "Griffins" from Mushaf Air Base.
The RAF detached seven Eurofighter Typoons, comprising six single seat FGR.4's as well as a single Typhoon T.3 two seater from 11 sq and 29(R) sq, RAF Coningsby, Lincs.
Five EF-18A Hornets from the Ejercito del Aire's Ala 15 from Zaragoza made up the Spanish contingent.
The NATO fighter line-up was completed by ten F-15C and a single F-15D Eagle from the USAF's 493 FS, RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk. 
Support services were of course required. The Luftwaffe made available one of its Airbus A.310MRTT hose and drogue tankers from the Flugbereitschaft des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung (FBS BMG) at Köln-Bonn. The THK itself had earmarked one of its KC-135R's. However, this aircraft did not operate from Konya. Two Airborne Warning and Control type aircraft were in action from Konya. Old but still relevant; the Boeing E-3A Sentry from NATO's AWACS unit at Geilenkirchen. It was assisted by brand new Boeing 737-AEW&C from 131 Filo based at Konya.

 CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) is part and parcel of nowadays operations. Konya's own 135 Filo operates some AS.532AL Cougars for this mission. They can be escorted by Turkish Army T.129 combat helicopters which are now in the process of being delivered. The C-130E shown right was about to load support equipment for the return flight of the Pakistani F-16's after the exercise ended.

Thanks must go to the Turkish Air Force for providing the outstanding facilities made available to the photographers. 

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink