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F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022.

F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022. (U.S. Air Force)

The U.S. Air Force celebrated dominating the skies for three quarters of a century by gathering 75 of its most lethal warbirds in Alaska.

“It’s been a long road to 75!” Pacific Air Forces wrote in a Facebook message posted Monday, along with a video of the jets on a runway at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.

“We wanted to go big this year to celebrate the Air Force's 75th Birthday, so we rolled out 75 of the most lethal aircraft in the world,” the message said. “As we honor our legacy of valor, remember to reflect on PACAF's Air Power ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific today!”

The video shows the jets performing a “capabilities demonstration” on Aug. 12 at Eielson, Pacific Air Forces spokesman Capt. Christopher Merian said in an email Tuesday.

The demonstration, which took place ahead of the Air Force’s anniversary on Sept. 18, included F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs, he said.

F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022.

F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022. (U.S. Air Force)

F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022.

F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs take part in a large formation exercise at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 12, 2022. (U.S. Air Force)

“The large formation exercise was designed to test our units’ abilities to rapidly generate and showcase, joint and international airpower in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force,” Merian said.

The jets are assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron and 355th and 356th Fighter Squadrons at Eielson; the 525th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage; the 80th Fighter Squadron at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea; and the 13th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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