PhxSpotters visits RedFlag 2009-2 Nellis AFB LasVegas,NV

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RED FLAG is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Eielson Air Force Base Alaska. Since 1975, air crew from the United States Air Force (USAF) and other U.S. military branches and allies take part in the exercises, each of which is six weeks in duration.

The Red Flag exercises, conducted in four-to-six cycles a year by the 414th Combat Training Squadron of the 57th Wing, are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. This includes the use of “enemy” hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the Nevada Test and Training Range.The mission of the 414th Combat Training Squadron (Red Flag) is to maximize the combat readiness and survivability of participants by providing a realistic training environment and a forum that encourages a free exchange of ideas. To accomplish this, combat units from the United States and its allied countries engage in realistic combat training scenarios carefully conducted within the Nellis Range Complex. The Nellis Range complex is located northwest of Las Vegas and covers an area of 60 nautical miles (111 km) by 100 nautical miles (190 km), approximately half the area of Switzerland. This space allows the exercises to be on a very large scale.In a typical Red Flag exercise, Blue Forces (friendly) engage Red Forces (hostile) in realistic combat situations. Blue Forces are made up of units from Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, United States Air Forces Europe, Pacific Air Forces, the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, the Canadian Air Force as well as other allied air forces. They are led by a Blue Forces commander, who coordinates the units in an “employment plan”. Red Forces (adversary) are composed of the 57th Wing’s 57th Adversary Tactics Group, flying F-16s (64th Aggressor Squadron) and F-15s (65th Aggressor Squadron) to provide realistic air threats through the emulation of opposition tactics. The Red Forces are also augmented by U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps units flying in concert with the 507th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron’s electronic ground defenses and communications, and radar jamming equipment. The 527th (Active Duty) and 26th (Reserve) Space Aggressor Squadrons also provide GPS jamming. Additionally, the Red Force command and control organization simulates a realistic manual integrated air defense system.

A key element of Red Flag operations is the Red Flag Measurement and Debriefing System. RFMDS is a computer hardware and software network which provides real-time monitoring, post-mission reconstruction of maneuvers and tactics, participant pairings and integration of range targets and simulated threats. Blue Force commanders objectively assess mission effectiveness and validate lessons learned from data provided by the RFMDS.

A typical flag exercise year includes one Green Flag (a close air support exercise with the Army), one Canadian Maple Flag (operated by Canadian Forces Air Command) and four Red Flags. Each Red Flag exercise normally involves a variety of fighter interdiction, attack, air superiority, defense suppression, airlift, air refueling and reconnaissance missions. In a 12-month period, more than 500 aircraft fly more than 20,000 sorties, while training more than 5,000 aircrews and 14,000 support and maintenance personnel. We Would like to thank Mr. Michael Estrada,Deputy Director of Public Affairs and the entire staff of Nellis AFB for a wonderful 3 days of shooting between the runways of a true super base ,during a live RedFlag Exercise. For more photos from the event please visit our online photo gallery at

One comment to PhxSpotters visits RedFlag 2009-2 Nellis AFB LasVegas,NV

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