Italy, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey came together at the recent ‘Anatolian Eagle’ exercise for joint training related to the needs of their ongoing real-world combat operations.

The exercise, which took place at Konya Air Base in southwest Turkey from 24 May to 9 June, saw the Turkish Air Force (TuAF) deploy nearly 40 Lockheed Martin F-16s, including the latest Block 50 aircraft and eight McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantoms. The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) contributed six Panavia Tornado IDS platforms; the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) six F-16AM/BMs; and the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) eight Tornado IDSs.

All of the participant nations are involved in real-world combat operations – the TuAF against Kurdish PKK separatists; the PAF against militants in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas; Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen; and Italy against the Islamic State in the Middle East. […]