17:09 GMT05 April 2020
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    US Marine Corps aviators from Attack Squadron VFMA 314 engaged in the US state of Alaska in one of the world’s largest military aviation exercises, VFMA 314 commanding officer Col. Gregory McGuire said in press release on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — As many as 80 aircraft were airborne at one time in air-to-air and ground support missions during the Red Flag Alaska training exercise.

    "I’ve got a lot of young aviators that have never seen something at this level with this many aircraft going against a very good and proficient threat, both on the air-to-air side and the surface-to-air side," McGuire stated.

    Divided into Red Force and Blue Force — aggressors and defenders — the aviators were assigned specific missions and their maneuvers were recorded by video camera and computer for post-training review.

    McGuire explained that the exercise was designed to test the squadron’s endurance in the planning and flying phases, and to initiate newly minted US Marine Corps aviators into real world engagements.

    US Marine Corps VFMA 314 are known as The Black Knights, and fly the F/A-18C Hornet multi-mission tactical aircraft.

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