Ride along in the back seat of an F-16 belonging to the 18th Aggressor Squadron conducting a training mission near the Island of Guam in support of exercise Cope North 2012. Cope North is a multilateral exercise featuring the U.S. Air Force, the Japan Air Self Defense Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force designed to enhance air operations in the Pacific Region.
Aggressor Squadrons such as the 18th Aggressor Squadron will deploy around the world to support exercises like Cope North, Valiant Shield, and the famous Red Flag large force exercise. These pilots focus on adversary tactics and their sole purpose is to push friendly forces (known as “Blue Air”) to their limits by testing their tactical proficiency. If you haven’t seen our article on Red Air, read up! It’s an amazing job.