124th Warthogs Arrive at Exercise Air Defender Published June 12, 2023 By Staff Sgt. Joseph Morgan, 124th Fighter Wing LECHFELD AIR BASE, Germany - The 124th Fighter Wing touched down in southern Germany for Air Defender 2023, a collective defense exercise focused on Germany’s ability to command and control a multinational Air Force operating out of German airfields. “We want to demonstrate determined allied air power,” said Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of Staff Luftwaffe. “Together with the U.S. and our allies in Europe, the Luftwaffe will send a highly visible and powerful signal of credible deterrence in the air domain.” Air Defender 2023 is a German-led, multinational exercise held June 12-23 and will be NATO’s largest air-power exercise since its inception in 1949. The exercise involves more than 200 aircraft from over 20 countries participating alongside 40-plus Air National Guard units from 35 states. The 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho National Guard, is sending six A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and over 100 Airmen. The exercise will provide operational and tactical-level field training, held mainly in Germany with additional locations in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia. “Alongside allies and partners, roughly 40 Air National Guard units, including the 124th Fighter Wing, are scheduled to participate in Air Defender 23 from various locations in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility,” said Col. Chad Kornberg, 124th Fighter Wing commander. “The United States values the relationship with our German Air Force allies and this exercise not only fortifies our commitment but also strategically unites us.” As the Air National Guard and Air Force provide extensive support in the form of about 2,600 Airmen and roughly 100 aircraft, the U.S. is making a clear commitment to Europe’s security.