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Coalition conducts Air & Missile Defense exercise in Arabian Gulf

  • Published
  • By Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) Public Affairs

Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) conducted Blue Sands 24.4, a combined air and missile defense exercise, in the North Arabian Gulf alongside coalition allies and regional partner nations, April 17, 2024.

Blue Sands, a part of U.S. Central Command’s overall Integrated Air and Missile Defense exercise series, focuses on modernizing defense architecture, which requires multinational integration across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains.

The exercise supports the coalition’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense posture, and it serves to enhance theater security cooperation, partner information sharing, and multinational command and control in a contested environment.

Focusing on the full-scale integration of a combat-ready coalition force, U.S. Air Force, Coalition Forces, and Regional Partner aircraft, including F-16 Fighting Falcons from the District of Columbia Air National Guard’s 121st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, and personnel joined several partner counterparts to rehearse combined responses to adversary threat scenarios. An array of coalition and joint aircraft are scheduled to participate, including advanced fighter, aerial refueling, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance platforms.

Coalition and regional partners continue to face threats from the Iranian Threat Network, and these exercises ensure combined forces remain agile and flexible to defend against any aggressor.