As the Italian Air Force prepares to mark its centenary on March 28, 2023, it hosted a training exercise focused on fifth-generation fighter tactics, Joe Campion visited Amendola Air Base in Northern Italy for Exercise Falcon Strike 22 and spoke to those involved
Despite the spike in fifth-generation operators across Europe there has been no exercise dedicated to the latest combat aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ITAF, Aeronautica Militare) recognized this and launched Exercise Falcon Strike 22 (Ex FS22). Its focus was to execute air operations in highly contested and congested scenarios, leveraging fifth-gen capabilities and fostering coalition effectiveness by planning, briefing, flying and debriefing in a classified environment suitable for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning program. It also aimed to consolidate co-operation among users with cross maintenance activities and logistic footprint optimization, to push the Lighting capabilities to the limit.