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Jun 29 2022

Allied Air Forces gather in Portugal for multi-domain exercise Real Thaw

RAMSTEIN, Germany - Real Thaw 22 is a large scale multi-domain exercise led by the Portuguese Air Force. Allied fighters and support aircraft flying from Airbase 11, Beja will operate together over southwest Portugal between June 26 and July 8.

Real Thaw is a unique opportunity to expose our forces to realistic, representative and integrated tactical experience, enhancing our ability to brainstorm, plan, execute and learn all together, so we are better prepared and ready to tackle future operational environment challenges

The large force employment exercise will include fighters from Belgium, France, Spain, the US and Portugal alongside support aircraft including helicopters, tankers and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft like NATO AWACS. It is designed to provide participating units with a diverse array of tactical missions. This will allow Allied crews to share expertise, improve integration and strengthen bonds. 

The exercise will include air-to-air and air-to-ground training, tactical air transport operations, and close air support. The complex realistic scenario will also integrate the space and cyber domains alongside support to Special Operations forces.

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French Rafale participating in the Real Thaw exercise in Portugal Photo courtesy: The Portuguese Air Force
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Cockpit view from Portuguese F-16 ready to get refueled. Photo courtesy: The Portuguese Air Force
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F-16 ready for a longer flight after an Air-to-Air Refueling. Photo courtesy: The Portuguese Air Force

"Real Thaw is a unique opportunity to expose our forces to realistic, representative and integrated tactical experience, enhancing our ability to brainstorm, plan, execute and learn all together, so we are better prepared and ready to tackle future operational environment challenges." said Major José "Driller" Fernandes, the Portuguese exercise coordinator. 

The exercise will also mark the 70th anniversary of the Portuguese Air Force, who is a steadfast Ally and a regular contributor to NATO air policing mission in Iceland and the Baltic States, both a cornerstone of NATO's collective defence.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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