October 05, 2010 (Hamsayeh.net) – Last Saturday, Iran allowed Chinese warplanes use its airspace to join a military drill with neighboring Turkey before an upcoming visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Ankara. The two countries reportedly conducted a military drill in central Anatolian region, last month.
Powerful Turkey is a NATO member and the historic country is strategically located between Asia and Europe. Until last year, Turkish military allowed US, NATO and Israel the opportunity to conduct drills codenamed Anatolian Eagle over Turkish air space.. The joint Turkish – Chinese military exercise would include Turkish US supplied F-16, and Chinese Su-27 and Mig-29 taking part in, ‘mock dogfights during the drills.’ Press TV reported.
Ankara and Beijing have also jointly manufactured missiles and other weapons since 1990. The government of President Abdullah Gul which enjoys massive support among Turkish population and within the country’s powerful military brass, has increased cooperation with Russia, China, Brazil, Iran and other leading countries outside US’ ever-diminishing sphere of influence. Turkish cooperation with Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan in the field of energy is set to expand substantially when it begins to transit oil and gas from the region though its territory to European consumers in the near future.
Ankara played a pivotal role in establishing peace between the Palestinians and Israelis until Tel Aviv with US backings started to take advantage of Turkey’s patience and goodwill. Following a brutal Israel’s attack on Turkish humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza, last May, in which nine innocent Turkish civilians were killed inside international waters, Ankara suspended strategic relations with Tel Aviv. Despite plenty of evidence that prove Israeli crime against Turkish flotilla, Washington continues to blindly support Israel and it even ignored the killing of Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old student who held dual Turkish-American citizenship.
Ever since that incident, the US government has been busy whitewashing Israel’s atrocities against the international community notably the killings of innocent Turkish activists aboard Mavi Marmara. The Obama administration has repeatedly turned down Ankara’s demands from US to adhere to international norms by bringing Israeli regime pay for its crimes against humanity.
HISTORY OF ANATOLIAN EAGLE
At the end of 20th century and at the beginning of 2000s, the Gulf War, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq Wars have shown that the Air Forces will play the major role in deterrence and in the determination of the outcomes of the future wars.
Starting from the beginning of the 1980s, with the consciousness of expected duties and with the philosophy of “No matter how modern the weapons are, it is men that use them.”, the Türkish Air Force gave importance to infrastructure, modernization of weapons and training. With the addition of experiences gained from the trainings and maneuvers attended in Internal Security Operation, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo Wars, the Turkish Air Force, as one of the major Air Forces in its region and in Europe, has come to a level to train Air Forces of other countries. The best example for this is the Anatolian Eagle (AE) trainings which have been performed starting from first Anatolian Eagle (AE) – 01 training carried out at 18-29 June 2001 until present.
As the geopolitical position of Türkiye is evaluated: being close to the energy sources in the world, the political instability and the over-arming in the surrounding countries force the Turkish Air Force to own weapons of the highest technology and to maintain the highest level of training.
The AE trainings are similar to the Red Flag (RF) trainings which have been performed in the Nellis Air Base of USA. The first RF training experience started in 1983 with a crew of 6 people consisting of 4 pilots and 2 WSOs going to this base as observers and flying 2 sorties in USAF aircrafts. The first participation to the RF training is realized at 09-23 August 1997 with the deployment of 6 x F-16s and 57 personnel to Nellis Air Base. Later on with the participation of Turkish and American squadrons in İncirlik, firstly at 02-15 May 1998 and secondly at 21 September – 02 October 1998, the RF-like Anatolian Flag (AF) trainings were performed. At 23 January – 05 February 2000 the second participation to the RF training was realized and in June 2000, and with the directive of Turkish Air Force Command, the preparations for the realization of the AE-01 training were started by TAF Operations Command.
The summary of activities from June 2000 until the beginning of the training are:
- Presentation of AF Project to the Command (30 June 2000)
- Publication of AF implementation directive (25 July 2000)
- Implementation plan for AFP and AF-01 training (22 November 2000)
- Nellis site survey (10-16 February 2001)
- Presentation of the briefing to the Turkish Chief of Staff (29 March 2001)
- NSC briefing (30 March 2001)
- Publication of NSC resolution number 468 on “Anatolian Eagle (AE) – Turkish Armed Forces Joint Training Center” of date 30 March 2001
- Publication of EXOPORD (14 May 2001)
- Completion of Operation Center, White-Red-Blue Headquarters, ACMI and similar infrastructure (12 June 2001)
AE-01 training, under the responsibility of 1st Tactical Air Force Command, realized at 18-29 June 2001 with the participation of Turkish, American and Israel Air Forces and hosted by 3rd Main Jet Base Command. The participation and date information for the following years are shown below:
The summary of activities from June 2000 until the beginning of the training are:
||18-29 June 2001
||Türkiye, Israel, USA.
||22 April 3 May 2002
||14-25 October 2002
||Türkiye, UEA, USA.
||03-14 November 2003
||Türkiye, Germany, Israel, USA.
||05-16 April 2004
||07-18 June 2004
||Türkiye, Israel, Jordan, USA.
||27 Sept-08 Oct 2004
||Türkiye, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, USA.
||04-15 April 2005
||12-23 September 2005
||Türkiye, Italy, France, Netherlands.
||14-25 November 2005
||Türkiye, Belgium, Israel, USA.
||24 April-05 May 2006
||12-22 June 2006
||Türkiye, France, NATO, Pakistan, USA.
||04-15 September 2006
||06-18 November 2006
||Türkiye, NATO, USA.
||11 – 22 Haziran 2007
||Türkiye, England, Jordan, NATO, Pakistan, USA.
||03 – 14 September 2007
||05 – 16 November 2007
||05 – 16 May 2008
||09 – 20 June 2008
||Türkiye, BAE, Jordan, NATO, USA.
||08 – 19 September 2008
||Türkiye, Israel, Italy, USA.
||03 – 14 November 2008
||27 April – 8 May 2009
||08 – 19 June 2009
||Türkiye, BAE, England, NATO, Jordan, USA.
||12 – 23 October 2009
||02 – 13 November 2009
The planned AE trainings for the year 2010 are:
||19-30 April 2010
||07-18 June 2010
||11 – 22 October 2010
AE trainings are realized in close-to-real war environment, with a scenario from easy to hard, with the advantage of high technology and by monitoring the quality of the trainings on the computer environment. The aim is to test the knowledge and abilities of all participants, to raise the level of the training by detecting the hitches and deficiencies.
The fundamental of the scenario consists of the attack of BLUE team with Combined Air Operation (COMAO) on the tactical and strategic targets in RED lands which are defended by fighter aircrafts and SAM systems.
The White Headquarters, sort of the brain of AE in which the AE crew works, is the center building in which the trainings are planned and the statistical studies are carried out.
Command Control Center is the headquarters in which the information (location, position and flight information) of aircrafts, which are transferred through ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation), can be observed in real-time. The tracks detected by AWACS and land radars and real-time searching, locking and shooting images of SAM and anti-aircraft systems can be observed. Also the MASE (Multi Aegis Site Emulator) Operation Center, Anatolian Eagle sorties and daily base flights are controlled and commanded here. The main briefing hall, which is located in the same building with CCC, has a capacity of 450 people and the last briefings before Eagle Sorties and the debriefings after flights are carried out here.
Located in the Red Building, Red Forces plan their tasks and have their briefings here. No one except the Red Forces can enter this building. Also in the same way, the Red Forces personnel cannot enter other building.
The national and foreign squadrons participating in Anatolian Eagle trainings are stationed in Blue-1, Blue-2 and Blue-3 buildings. Each building has briefing rooms for squadrons to have briefings and brain-storming.
With a capacity of 260 rooms and 520 beds, the construction of AE dormitory is completed before 2002 AE trainings and the settlement problem was partially solved. In the following years, in the same region with the dormitory, two dormitories, a restaurant, officer and NCO clubs and other activity centers will be built.
The AE Airspace is expended towards south and reached a dimension of 200 nm. east-west and 150 nm. north-south. The Salt Area, the main operation airspace, is being used from ground level up to 50,000 feet.
During the AE trainings the AWACS gives C2 support to Blue forces and the land radar located on the base gives GCI support to Red forces and the Turkish tanker aircrafts give AAR support to both forces…continue to source.