The exercise Anatolian Eagle was initiated in 2001, to simulate air warfare scenarios in the context of national and multinational training. The Anatolian Eagle (AE) Training Centre was built at 3rd Main Jet Base at Konya, located in Central Anatolia in Turkey.
Turkey has held three to four AE exercises every year from 2001 to today, with a mix of participants from both the West (eight NATO partners have already participated) and the East, including Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and perhaps more surprisingly Israel. Testimony to the success of Anatolian Eagle are the many framed pictures of units that participated. Many with a handwritten thank you on it. Almost forty AE exercises took place since 2001, with thirteen countries participating, besides the host nation.
By now, AE has grown into one of the largest and most complex joint air force exercises in the world, paralleled only by Red Flag, held periodically at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base, and the annual Maple Flag exercise in Canada. Within ten years, the Turkish Air Force has grown into a level where it is able to perform on par with most and train air forces of other countries.