Exercise Red Flag

Red Flag is a training exercise that puts pilots and air crew through realistic combat scenarios alongside the Air Force’s allied Navy. The idea came after officials learned in Vietnam that if a pilot survived his first ten combat admissions, the odds of surviving his remaining missions improved significantly. The lieutenant Colonel Richard Suter and General Robert J. Dixon thought, hey, let’s just put them through those ten missions here and get it out of the way. And thus, Red Flag was born in 1975 in a manner very similar to that of the Navy’s top gun, but without the film franchise potential.

You two characters are going to Red Flag. The goal is to prepare Air Force and coalition pilots and air crew to combat near peer adversaries in contested environments. It’s an opportunity for U. S. And allied forces to build relationships and learn how to work together to solve problems and accomplish missions.

Red Flag is held at two locations and each conducts multiple exercises a year. There’s Red Flag Alaska, based out of Eelson Air Force Base, and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, where it’s usually freezing, and Red Flag Nellis, based out of Nellis Air Force Base, about a 20 minutes drive from Vegas. While it would be really awesome to see f 35s buzing the strip, the exercises are contained to the large Nevada test and training range.

Red Flag is massive, hosting thousands of participants from different states, branches and nations over two weeks or ten days. In Alaska, no hangovers to account for. Blue forces face off against red aggressor squadrons conducting a variety of missions under intense, realistic conditions and involving a plethora of different aircraft. Red Flag and other advanced training programs like it is a major part of why the US military continues to be the most powerful in the world, even if Hollywood doesn’t make a movie about it. But it should.

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