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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Rafale fighter jets have successfully completed their participation in Exercise Red Flag in the United States and returned to India on June 26, 2024. This deployment marked a significant milestone for the IAF, showcasing its growing prowess and international cooperation.

The Red Flag exercise is a renowned aerial combat training program known for its challenging scenarios and realistic simulations. The IAF’s participation in this prestigious event signifies its commitment to maintaining peak combat readiness and sharpening its skills against top global adversaries.

En route back to India, the Rafale contingent made a refueling stop at Lajes, Portugal. Here, the Indian Ambassador to Portugal, Mr. Manish Chauhan, interacted with the IAF team, a heartwarming gesture that highlights the support the Indian government extends to its armed forces on international deployments.

Following their return journey, the Rafale contingent cleverly split into two teams to maximize their training opportunities. One group conducted joint maneuvers with the Egyptian Air Force, soaring majestically over the iconic Great Pyramids in a symbolic display of cooperation. The Indian Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Ajit Gupte, also took the opportunity to meet the team and offer his encouragement.

The other Rafale team ventured to Greece, where they participated in a joint exercise with the Hellenic Air Force. These combined drills involving Indian Rafales and Greek F-16s demonstrate a growing focus on interoperability between different air forces.

This transatlantic deployment by the IAF’s Rafale jets serves a dual purpose. It not only honed the combat skills of the pilots but also opened doors for future collaborative exercises with partner nations like Egypt and Greece. This collaborative approach to military training strengthens international ties and fosters a more secure global environment.