Colombian Air Force A-29B Super Tucanos are currently taking part in Ex. Green Flag East. Along with Moody AFB’s A-10s (and other U.S. combat planes.)
Four Colombian Air Force A-29B Super Tucanos are taking part in Exercise Green Flag East from Aug. 15 to 29, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
The Colombian contingent, supported by 45 Colombian airmen, arrived at the base home of some of the American iconic B-52 strategic bombers on Aug. 13 and immediately started engaging with their U.S. Air Force counterparts in order to prepare for the two-week exercise.
Green Flag East is one of Air Combat Command’s premier close-air-support exercises, which rehearses close-air-support tactics, while enhancing interoperability with Air Force and Army forces: during GF pilots train in a simulated, high-threat environment, while maintenance and support personnel are provided an increased tempo in generating fully mission-capable combat aircraft.
In addition to the Colombian aircraft, U.S. Air Force A-10s from Moody Air Force Base, Ga.; F-16s from the Texas Air National Guard; KC-135s from McConnell AFB, Kans.; E-3s from Tinker AFB, Okla.; and E-8s from Robins AFB, Ga.; have taken part in the exercise.
As part of Green Flag East, two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs belonging to the 75th FS from Moody flew a simulated close-air-support mission with two Colombian A-29B Super Tucanos.
Interestingly, the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano is among the most successful CAS platforms all around the world and one considered to be among the candidates to replace the A-1o Thunderbolt in the role of supporting the troops in contact with the enemy forces. Already in service with 10 air arms around the world, the propeller-driven aeroplane has the ability to carry a wide variety of bombs and machine guns; given the U.S. Air Force plan to retire its A-10 fleet in 2022, the Super Tucano has often been said to be a possible A-10 replacement in the close air support role.
U.S. IPs with the 81st FS from Moody AFB already fly the Afghan Air Force A-29B aircraft delivered earlier this year as part of the Train, Advice, Assist Command-Air (TAAC-Air): they advice and train Afghan pilots to operate the highly maneuverable fourth generation weapons system while developing close air support, aerial escort, armed overwatch and aerial interdiction.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force