Operation Red Flag has been launched with great success. This international air exercise is usually held each two years, involving more than 20 participating countries, allies of the US. The objective is to develop team work and see how to work cooperatively between various air forces around the world. The Red Flag exercises, held at the Nellis Air Force Base since 1975, are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S. Air Force, other U.S. military branches, NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. It is conducted on the vast bombing and gunnery ranges at Nellis AFB, northwest of Las Vegas. The area covers an area of 60 nautical miles by 100 nautical miles, allowing Red Flag to be on a very large scale. In a typical Red Flag exercise, Blue Forces (friendly) engage Red Forces (hostile) in combat situations. Blue Forces are made up of units from ACC, Air Mobility Command (AMC), US Air Force Europe, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Air National Guard (ANG), United States Air Force Reserves (USAFR), Army, Navy, Marine Corps and allied air forces. Red Forces are composed of Red Flag’s Adversary Tactics Division flying the F-16 and F-15 and provides air threats through the emulation of enemy tactics. They are often augmented by other U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps units. The first Red Flag held this year saw the allied participation of Royal Air Force’s Tornado GR.4s and Royal Australian Air Force F-111s and F/A-18 Hornets. Note the carriage of the range instrumentation pods, practice ammunitions, missiles and jammers by the participating aircraft. In addition to the Red Flag aircraft, there are some shots of visitors and the Thunderbirds, which are based at Nellis AFB. Below are some pictures of the ongoing exercise.
Photos by Glenn E. Bloore, GEB Photography