Tag Archives: Eielson Air Force Base

New F-16C Aggressor Color Livery (Dubbed “BDU Splinter”) Unveiled at Eielson Air Force Base

F-16C Block 30 from 18th Aggressor Squadron Debuts in New Splinter-Euro/Southeast Asia Style Camo.

A photo shared on the Eielson Air Force Base official Facebook page early on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 showed a recently repainted F-16C Block 30 belonging to the 18th Aggressor Squadron with a new and unusual paint scheme.

The new paint scheme mimics colors seen in both the “European One” and older Southeast Asia camouflage schemes. There appear to be either four or three colors on the aircraft. Possibly either one or two shades of green, a tan shade and flat black. The aircraft is dubbed “BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) Splinter”, a type of camouflage used on combat trousers and jackets.

Colors for the new F-16 aggressor seem to be inspired by both the European One paint scheme and the older Vietnam-era Southeast Asian camouflage but with the new square-edged “splinter” pattern. (Photo: USAF/TheAviationist.com)

The pattern is interesting since it is not a rounded or feathered transition from color to color like the older Southeast Asia camouflage seen in the Vietnam era or the Cold War, but a splinter pattern seen on recent Russian aircraft. The Aggressors often mimic Russian adversaries in training with U.S. and other western aircraft.

The new paint scheme of this 18th Aggressor F-16 debuted in this group photo with the Air Force Academy ice hockey team during a visit to Alaska. (Image: USAF)

Airman Eric M. Fisher of the 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office wrote in August that, “Eielson houses more than 20 F-16s. These aircraft are used by the 18th Aggressor Squadron to provide critical combat training to pilots around the globe. Due to their goal of threat replication, the 18th AGRS aircraft are painted to match that of possible enemy fighter aircraft.”

Airman Fisher went on to say the 18th AGRS has been flying opposing forces (OPFOR) simulation for over 20 years. It is worth noting that, as with this new F-16 paint scheme, the color schemes on the Eielson aggressors have changed as actual threat color schemes have changed in the real world.

The newly painted aircraft was shown in photos with the U.S. Air Force Academy Hockey Team as they visited Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska to play the UAF Nanooks hockey team. Little was mentioned of the aircraft or its new paint scheme in the social media post.

The aircraft became famous thanks to a photo taken on Jul. 31, 2017 and showing the aircraft, serial 86-0295, assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron with a brand new overall black livery. Even though it initially seemed that the black livery might have been inspired by a Chinese aircraft (the Shenyang J-31 Falcon Eagle or “FC-31 fifth Generation Multi-Purpose Medium Fighter”, China’s second stealth fighter jet it was almost immediately explained that the F-16 was a half-finished paint scheme, rushed into service to take part in Red Flag Alaska.

The F-16C in its previous, temporary, overall black color scheme. (USAF)

Hopefully more photos of this new paint scheme surface soon and we will see aircraft profile artists like Ugo Crisponi, Mads Bangso and Ryan Dorling among others making color profile prints of this new Alaska Aggressor.

Thank you to Pierpaolo Maglio for providing additional details about the BDU Splinter.



Gorgeous photo shows an Aggressors’ F-16 preparing for take off shortly after sunrise

An Aggressors’ F-16 prepares to take off to participate in training exercise.

Captured shortly after sunrise on Jan. 24, 2016, the gorgeous photo in this post shows an F-16 Fighting Falcon belonging to the 18th Aggressor Squadron preparing for take off from Eielson Air Force Base.

The aircraft in the picture was taking part in training exercise Forceful Tiger at Kadena Air Base, Japan, that gathered ,ore than 150 maintainers from the 354th Fighter Wing to keep the Aggressors in the air and prepare U.S. Airmen, Sailors and Marines for contingency operations along with coalition partners in the Pacific theater.

Aimed to demonstrate the 18th Wing’s combat capabilities to defend Okinawa, Forceful Tiger was a large force exercise (LFE) during which a total of 132 aircraft, including 65 F-15 Eagles, 14 F-16 Fighting Falcons, 32 F-22 Raptors, one E-3 Sentry and 20 USMC F/A-18 Hornets, were involved.

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel / U.S. Air Force


Super GoPro video of U.S. F-16s raging at Red Flag Alaska

Stunning footage filmed by 35th Fighter Squadron F-16s during training activities in Alaska.

Filmed with GoPro cameras by 35th FS pilots, from Kunsan airbase, South Korea, during Red Flag-Alaska 15-1 and Distant Frontier at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, in October 2014, the footage contains all what you would expect from a cool aviation video: low-level flying, air combat, high g-load maneuvering, aerial refueling, live firing at the range.

The Squadron deployed with their F-16s from Kunsan airbase, in South Korea, to train with U.S. and international forces and prepare for air expeditionary force tasking.


Typhoons, Raptors, Vipers and Eagles at the latest Red Flag Alaska. With many firsts and lasts.

When you think of Red Flag, Nellis and the Nevada terrain immediately springs to mind.

But there is another Red Flag combat training exercise that takes place over the vast training areas of Alaska.

Noteworthy, the latest Red Flag-Alaska 12-2, at Eielson Air Force Base, with more than 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel, has seen several firsts. It’s the first time U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptors have participated in Red Flag-Alaska, along with eight German Eurofighter Typhoons from Jagdgeschwader 74.

Another first is the participation of the Polish Air Force that has brought its F-16 Block 52 aircraft.

Japan is taking part as well, with its F-15J Eagles (somehow causing some confusion to the U.S. DoD Flickr uploaders – see caption).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

All of the above are on the Blue Forces side and are training to work as a team with differing aircraft and capabilties.

Something Col. Andreas Pfeiffer of the German Airforce commented on when talking about the Raptor: he said that flying with the Raptor was an interesting experience “Its capabilities are overwhelming.”

Image credit: U.S. DoD

Blue forces flew up against the USAF’s 18th Aggressor Squadron flying F-16s replicating enemy aircraft like Su-27s, Su-30s and J-20s and providing the Germans with a unique training experience.

Elsewhere in Alaska but part of Red Flag-Alaska, Join Base Elemendorf-Richardson saw a visit by the Royal Australian Airforce with their C-130H, C-130J and their distinctive airborne early warning and control E-7A Wedgetail.

Whilst the Raptor, Eurofighter Polish Air Force are firsts, Red Flag-Alaska has also seen a possible last in the participation of the RAAF C-130H which is to be soon withdrawn from the Australian Air Force service.

Talking to the USAF website Group Capt. Donald Sutherland, the commanding officer of No.84 wing at RAAF Base Richmond and the Red Flag Group commander for the C-130 and Wedgetail said: “The C-130H is an aging platform that requires major fixes, it will be with much sadness that the RAAF retires the C-130H”. He went on “One thing we’re doing is using the complex ranged environment and the scenarios to transfer some of the skills that are resident in the veteran C-130H workforce across to the newer C-130J workforce.”

The RAAF has brought the E-7A Wedgetail to the Red Flag-Alaska for the first time. At a press conference Commanding Officer No.2 Squadron Wing Commander Paul Carpenter said: “We want to integrate with all the players so we can learn form them and in turn they can learn what our platform does.”

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Image credit: U.S. Air Force