An Israeli Air Force F-15C Baz takes off from Ovda Air Base, Israel.(Flickr photo courtesy of Mark Rourke)Dozens of U.S. and allied warplanes are assembling at Eielson Air Force Base in preparation for an upcoming round of Red Flag training exercises. But F-15s from the state of Israel will not be participating, reportedly because of rising tensions in the region.Listen nowAn Eielson Air Force Base spokesman says Israel will for the first time be participating in a Red Flag training exercise. But Lieutenant Kitsana Dounglomchan confirms that Israeli F-15s that were scheduled to take part in the exercise that gets under way later this month won’t after all.“The Israeli Air Force will not be sending F-15s to Red Flag-Alaska 18-1, which occur from 26 April to 11 May,” Dounglomchan said in an interview Wednesday. He says he can’t say anything about why Israel decided against dispatching the warplanes to Red Flag, nor how many of the fighters the nation had intended to send.Israeli media, which first reported the story, say national leaders decided to keep the F-15s home due to rising tensions in the region in the aftermath of Israeli military strikes against Iranian proxies in Syria. According to the media accounts, the Israel Defense Forces have placed its ground and air elements on high alert in case Iran launches a counterattack.The accounts vary in their estimates on how many of the warplanes Israel had intended to send, ranging from a handful to more than a dozen.Dounglomchan says the Israeli military will, however, take part in Red Flag.“Despite this change, we’re still looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be participating in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1,” Dounglomchan said.Dounglomchan says he can’t offer any details on how the Israeli Air Force will be participating. Media outlets say Israel will send personnel and other aircraft to Red Flag, including a KC-135 tanker variant, similar to those used by the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing that’s based at Eielson.More than 60 aircraft from U.S. and allied units will take part in the upcoming Red Flag exercise, according to the Pacific Air Forces, the Alaskan Command’s higher headquarters that directs Red Flag. The aircraft will be based at both Eielson and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and most operations will take place in a simulated combat environment in the skies above the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
The Myths, Marvels & Monuments: A Cultural Mosaic 2022 World Cruise is comprised of eight individual segments of 12 to 19 nights, each available for individual booking. Highlights include:Central America focus-visiting Jamaica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Panama Canal and comprehensive exploration of the Mexican Riviera.Polynesia and South Pacific focus, from Hawaii to Tonga, with 12 days at sea to fully relax and indulge in the all-inclusive luxuries of Crystal Serenity.New Zealand and Australia focus, exploring the Lord of the Rings landscapes and the famed Barossa and Margaret River wine regions, with overnights in the cosmopolitan hubs of Auckland and Sydney.Indonesia and Indian Ocean focus, beginning along Australia’s west coast and highlighting the sacred temples of Bali and Sri Lanka, plus an overnight in Singapore to explore the famed skyline and on to the blissful Maldives.Intensive exploration of the Arabian Gulf and Holy Land, including overnights in Mumbai, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings (Safaga, Egypt) and Jerusalem/Tel Aviv; also visiting the ancient sites of Petra, Limassol and Rhodes and transiting the Suez Canal.Exploration of the Black Sea coast, overnighting in Istanbul and Monte Carlo and visiting historical and picturesque cities in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania, along with the Italian Riviera.Fascinating Trans-Atlantic route exploring Gibraltar and the famed limestone St Michael’s Cave; the military bastions of Cartagena, Spain; and Ponta Delgada, capital of Portugal’s Azores archipelago.Special events on board and ashore will highlight the Full World Cruise voyage, while dozens of Destination Discoveries ashore allow guests to visit some of the world’s most remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From architectural treasures like Sydney’s Opera House, Mumbai’s Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal to cultural wonders like the historic cities of Istanbul and Rome and mosaics of Paphos, there are experiences offered to suit virtually every traveller’s preferences.With Full World Cruise options ranging from 82 to 116 nights, guests can choose to sail round-trip from Miami or Los Angeles (116 nights); from Miami to Monte Carlo (102 nights); Los Angeles to Monte Carlo (100 nights); or Los Angeles to Miami (86 nights). Depending on the embarkation and disembarkation selected, Full World Cruise voyages may begin or end with a Panama Canal transit. Each of the Full World Cruise options affords benefits including two complimentary private transfers between port city airport and the ship; an extravagant gala event ashore; exclusively themed onboard events; special gifts; “As You Wish” shipboard spending credits; and fare savings for early booking and Crystal Society.A new deposit policy offers 15% reduced deposit requirement for any Full World Cruise guests also deposited on Crystal’s 2020 and/or 2021 Full World Cruises. Bookings are now open for previous, current, and future Full World Cruise guests; bookings open to the public on 10 April 2019.Lead image: Crystal Serenity at Busselton, WA – Image: Guy DundasGo back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterCrystal Cruises has unveiled its 2022 Full World Cruise aboard the Crystal Serenity, a singular circumnavigation featuring five embarkation and disembarkation choices ranging from 86 to 116 nights, each option offering World Cruise benefits. The Myths, Marvels & Monuments: A Cultural Mosaic voyage marks the line’s 27th annual World Cruise, exploring the Panama Canal; Hawaii, Tonga and Samoa; Australia and New Zealand; Indonesia and Sri Lanka; Egypt, Israel and the Black Sea; and Greece and the French Riviera.“Crystal’s 2022 World Cruise again ups the ante of luxury exploration, a true full-circle global odyssey with a focus on choices,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales.“A Full World Cruise with Crystal is the journey of a lifetime, and we believe it should be exactly what our guests want it to be. Multiple options to join or leave the ship in Miami, Los Angeles or Monte Carlo make it possible for guests to plan their air travel and calendars on very personal terms, and numerous opportunities to connect with the facets of the destinations that are most meaningful to them make it a truly personal experience.“The 2022 World Cruise will enchant even the most seasoned travellers, as our team outdoes itself each year to create original itineraries packed with the perfect mix of historical treasures and natural wonders,” she added. “Full World Cruisers will also enjoy a bevvy of special incentives and benefits that sweeten the experience even further, from shipboard credits and shoreside events to conveniences like our newly added complimentary two-day laundry service and medical office visits.”