Air Force arrives in the United States for Exercise Red Flag
31 January 2014
Royal Australian Air Force aircraft and personnel have arrived at one of the world’s best training facilities to participate in Exercise Red Flag.
About 250 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel from around Australia have deployed to the exercise which is being held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in the United States. The majority of these personnel are from RAAF Base Williamtown’s Number 77 and Number 2 squadrons, along with seven F/A-18A Hornet fighter jet and an E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, to conduct complex air combat missions.
Commander Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Tony Grady, highlighted the immense value of Air Force’s participation in the exercise.
“Exercise Red Flag is the most advanced international air combat training activity in the world. It provides our pilots, combat controllers and intelligence officers with the most realistic and demanding tactical training available.
“Exercise Red Flag is designed to not only test, but also teach the crews through a rigorous flying program of day and night missions against a large number of ground threats and adversary air.”
The large scale exercise will involve experienced aircrews from the participating air forces flying strike, electronic warfare, tactical transport, fighter escort, airborne warning and control and air-to-air refuelling aircraft against dedicated defensive fighter aircraft and an extensive range of simulated surface to air threats.
“Exercise Red Flag provides a level of operational simulation that is not available in Australia or the region, and regular participation in this Red Flag series of exercises is a major contributor to Australia’s high standard of air combat capability,” Air Commodore Grady said.
Australian forces have joined the United States and United Kingdom for the two week multinational exercise which is conducted on the 15,000-square-mile Nevada Test and Training Range, north of Las Vegas. Exercise Red Flag is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the US Air Force Warfare Center and Nellis Air Force Base, through the 414th Combat Training Squadron.
Exercise Red Flag concludes on 15 February 2014.
Exercise Red Flag imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140092.
Flight Lieutenant Cath Friend, Air Force, 0421 687 825