Red Flag provides unique training opportunities
July 27, 2010
by Airman 1st Class Daniel Phelps
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Four times per year, U.S. forces and allies from around the world gather at "The Home of the Fighter Pilot" to participate in Red Flag and gain coalition air combat experiences in a peacetime environment.
They fly together on the Nevada Test and Training Range here, the U.S. Air Force's premiere military training area with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land. The NTTR also includes 1,900 possible targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force that cannot be replicated anywhere in the world.
During Red Flag 10-4, more than 500 personnel are launching over 70 aircraft, ranging from F-15s and F-16s to EA-6Bs, EA-18Gs, E-3s, F/A-18s, and MC-130s, twice per day and KC-135s are pumping around 150,000 gallons of fuel daily.
Participating in this Red Flag 10-4 are members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Singapore and NATO.
"Red Flag provides challenging scenarios, and only through teamwork and the integration of all the assets deployed to Red Flag can we succeed," said Col. Don Godier, 20th Fighter Wing vice commander and Air Expeditionary Wing commander for Red Flag. "No single aircraft can handle the tactical challenges that Red Flag presents and this provides the opportunity to fly with coalition partners and prepare for future high intensity conflicts."
Red Flag also provides unique training for more than just pilots because it replicates the full spectrum of threats.
"This exercise covers most scenarios, strategies and tactics that could occur and as an intelligence officer, it is rare to get war situation training," said Hungarian Air Force Capt. Victor Nemeti, from NATO Squadron 2, Geilenkirchen, Germany. "We had meetings with all of the units here. It was good to have all the intelligence communities come together and share their experience and questions. We were able to learn a lot from the others. It is an amazing learning opportunity."
"From the number of aircraft here to support the coalition effort and even the weather and climate at Nellis, all of this combines to makes this training valuable," said Canadian Air Force Maj. Ed Roberds, the NATO deployed forces commander. "Red Flag creates an opportunity to bring the crew into a multinational environment."
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