Pacific Skies 24 – one deployment, five exercises

After Rapid Pacific two years ago, the German Air Force is back in the Indo-Pacific region to conduct exercises with its partners – this time together with other European air forces and with the German Navy. The exercises will see the participants practice low-level flights, air attacks, air defense, and air refueling.

Air refueling between an Airbus A440M and two fighter jets in the midst of clouds.

Pacific Skies 24 is a combination of several air force exercises, in which the German, the French and the Spanish air forces take part as European nations. There are five parts to the exercise taking part at five different places worldwide. The German Tornado jets will start to join a low-level flying exercise in Alaska. This will be the last showing of the German Tornado fleet on an international stage. Thereafter the Tornados will be joined by eight German and four Spanish Eurofighter plus four French Rafales jets, four German light helicopters, four German, two Spanish and three French A400M transport and refuelling aircrafts as well as seven A330 MRTTMulti Role Tanker Transport. They will take part together with the USUnited States in the multinational exercise “Arctic Defender”. This exercise will be led by Germany and serves to train NATO standards.

After that the European partners deploy to Japan, where the German Eurofighter fleet will split up: After refueling and chance of crews five jets will deploy further to Australia together with the French and Spanish crews to take part in the multinational air force exercise “Pitch Black”. The remaining three German Eurofighter jets will stay in Japan to train together with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) in the exercise “Nippon Skies”. After this historic event – for the first time German fighter jets will train in Japanese air space - these three jets will deploy to Hawaii to train together with the German Navy and international partners in the exercise “Rimpac”. The German-French team in Australia deploys further to India, where the Indien Air Force led exercise “Tarang Shakti Phase 1” will take place.

Pacific Skies 24 was designed because of the special importance of security cooperation with Germany’s partners in the Indo-Pacific region. Through joint training, the partners will increase their operational capability and prove that in an emergency they will be able to enforce the principles of a rules-based international order.

Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz
Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force Bundeswehr/Jane Schmidt
“By participating in Pacific Skies 24, we as Europeans are showing presence in a part of the world that is of great importance to all of us. We will deploy to the Indo-Pacific region together with Spain and France and take part in five different exercises.”
Pacific Skies flight routes

Pacific Skies 24 in a nutshell

The most important facts about the largest exercise project of the German Air Force in 2024

  • „Low Level Training”: German Air Force tornado aircraft will practice low-level flying in Alaska from 17 to 29 June

  • „Arctic Defender”: air-to-air combat in Alaska from 8 to 18 July

  • „Nippon Skies”: joint training flights with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force 

  • „Pitch Black”: multinational air combat exercise in Australia

  • „Rimpac”: cooperation with the German Navy in Hawaii from 22 to 30 July

  •  „TARANG SHAKTI 1: joint training flights with the Indian Air Force from 7 to 14 August
Nations and aircraft participating in Pacific Skies 24

The German Air Force is a so-called first responder. This means that in a crisis it is one of the first forces to arrive on site. It must therefore be able to deploy rapidly and flexibly all over the world. During Pacific Skies, it will demonstrate this capability together with partners it cooperates and shares the same values with. Training together with partners in the Indo-Pacific region will test and extend interoperability, i.e. effective cooperation between the allied air forces.

Moreover, Germany together with France and Spain will demonstrate Europe's dedication to the Indo-Pacific region.


Participating weapon systems

Impressions Indopacific