The US Air Force has kicked off its largest and the world famous three-week premier air-to-air combat training exercise, Red Flag 18-1, beginning today and will conclude February the 16th.
The exercise typically involves a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft as well as participants from the US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Air Force.
“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,” said Col Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness.”
While Red Flag occurs in multiple iterations annually, each one has a unique training purpose – 18-1 is no exception.
“Red Flag 18-1 primarily is a strike package focused training venue that we integrate at a command and control level in support of joint task force operations,” said Mathes.
“It’s a lot of words to say that we integrate every capability we can into strike operations that are flown out of Nellis Air Force Base.”
The training offered during Red Flag has prepared armed forces for future engagements say the US Air Force.
“Red Flag remains a great mix of heritage and future potential,” said Mathes.
“We are very proud of our heritage with the way that red flag had improved survivability and readiness over the years. We look forward as we continue to grow readiness through integrated training as well as improving training efficiency.”