The Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent, which reached the Eielson airbase in Alaska, U.S., on April 23 to participate in the prestigious Red Flag 2016 exercise, will be facing the top guns of the US Air Force, who are expected to showcase their F -22s, F-18s and F-16s during the exercise. 

The IAF soon began its extensive "work-up phase" to get used to the new flying setting and local procedures, radio telephony terminologies and "Nato brevity codes," the Times of India reported.

The IAF personnel arrived at the Eielson airbase with 12 aircraft that includes four Sukhoi-30MKIs, India's frontline air-superiority aircraft, four Jaguars, two IL-78 mid-air refuellers and two C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft. 

"The team adopted a philosophy of 'crawl, walk and run', signifying the progressive build-up in the effort, pace and complexities of the training sorties during the work-up phase. It's noteworthy the local F-16 aggressor squadron has appreciated IAF's performance in the multiple missions conducted so far," the Times of India quoted Rochelle D'Silva, IAF spokesperson wing commander, as saying.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to U.S. Arun K. Singh and U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma met with the Indian contingent at the Eielson airbase. Both the Ambassadors interacted with the Indian and the U.S. teams participating in the exercises.

The main phase of the exercise began on May 3. These exercises are considered to be realistic air combat operations and are expected to include several complex situations.