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US and Qatari AF conduct first combined exercise

(U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

A Qatari Emiri Air Force C-130 flies ahead of a U.S. Air Force C-130J during SAQKR 21, a joint training exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar on April 28, 2019. The exercise consisted of fighters protecting the homeland and airspace, fast roping, ceasing an airfield, and airlift resupplying ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

Pilots from the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, participate in the combined SAQKR 21, C-130J training exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar on April 28, 2019. The training was designed to increase inoperability between the U.S Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Qatari Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

A Qatari Emiri Air Force C-130 flies above the Persian Gulf during a combined C-130J training exercise with the U.S. Air Force on April 28, 2019. The QEAF and USAF C-130Js practiced low-level formation procedures and Tactics/Techniques and Procedures for employing the C-130J in a combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron participates in the combined SAQKR 21, C-130J training exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar on April 28, 2019. The Qatari Emiri Air Force led the exercise, which combines Qatar’s naval, air, and ground forces practicing their ability to assault an enemy position in a medium threat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley L. Gardner)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --

U.S. Air Force and Qatari Emiri Air Force pilots partnered to fly in the combined C-130J training exercise SAQKR 21, Sunday April 28th, 2019.

The Qatari Emiri Air Force led the exercise, which combines Qatar’s naval, air, and ground forces to practice their ability to assault an enemy position in a medium threat environment. The training was also designed to increase inoperability between the U.S Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Qatari Air Force.

“Training with the Qataris is important because it gives us a chance to learn more about the host nation and the people that we are conducting operations with,” said Maj. Brent Manbeck, 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot.  “It’s very important [to] learn how we both conduct [missions] from the planning phase, to execution.”

The exercise consisted of fighters protecting the homeland and airspace, fast roping, ceasing an airfield, and airlift resupplying ground forces.

Additionally, the QEAF seized a radar site with special operations forces helicopter insertion.  The seizure was supported by a QEAF Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft and naval surface support.  QEAF and USAF C-130Js simulated a re-supply airdrop of equipment and supplies to the Qatar special operations forces once the radar site was secure.

Finally, the QEAF and USAF C-130Js practiced low-level formation procedures and Tactics/Techniques and Procedures for employing the C-130J in a combat environment.

“Partnership is key,” said Lt. Col. Mike Pasquino, 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron commander.  “Both air forces are professional organizations that when you get down to the basics are very similar.  Our joint desire to produce an unmatched force makes future partnering with the QEAF something to look forward to.”