The 607th ACS hosts Exercise Desert Vulture

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mason Hargrove
  • 56th Fighter Wing

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.—The 607th Air Control Squadron hosted Exercise Desert Vulture, Nov. – Dec., 2023, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Desert Vulture serves as a bilateral military exercise for the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force focused on improving operational readiness and defense capabilities. The RNAF controlled 15 sorties over six fighter squadrons, while effectively integrating with Luke AFB F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon squadrons.

“The 607th ACS Provides the ability for the RNAF to control larger scale, high performance mission sets that they usually don’t get the opportunity to participate in their own country,” said 2nd Lt. Christian Turnbull, 607th ACS weapons and tactics assistant chief. “Additionally, the RNAF Airmen showed the 56th fighter wing that the 607th ACS is a premier formal training unit, that can simultaneously train fighters, allies, students, and cadre members with this international joint initiative.”

The 607th ACS offers a platform for both nations to collaborate and enhance their skills in directing and managing both the F-35 and F-16 aircraft.

With the diversity of fighter training available at Luke, the RNAF can complete more flying hours than in their home country, ultimately enhancing their operational capabilities.

“During their stay here for operation Desert Vulture, the Dutch fighter controllers integrated with U.S personnel across the 56th Operations Group,” said Airman 1st Class Kaylie Devine, 607th ACS weapons director. “Their end goal is to increase their skill and capabilities to execute against the next gen threat.”

The partnership between the U.S. and the Netherlands will continue to strengthen through engagements like Desert Vulture, enhancing the strategic prowess and readiness of both air forces.