Red Flag Restoration Required

Red Flag, the Air Force’s premium air combat training tool, is not currently resourced to prepare airmen for modern, high-end conflict, said former Chief of Staff retired Gen. Michael Moseley. “Imagine if you have a no-fly zone into Syria right now … to be able to replicate that is going to take some time and money,” Moseley said during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event, July 23. If Red Flag is going to live up to its mission of preparing airmen to survive and win in combat “you need to be able to replicate, as closely as possible, the elements of the environment they’re going to be operating in. That’s a fundamental notion,” he said. Sequestration cuts grounded Red Flag for a year and aggressors at Nellis AFB, Nev., have been cut from four squadrons to “not-quite one and we’re looking at bizarre notions of contracting,” Moseley noted. “How is that meeting the intent?” he asked, stressing that a “full-up set of threat arrays” are required to fulfill Red Flag’s mission. “If you don’t have that, then you need to reprioritize? from the Chief and the Air Staff down,” he said. Moseley credited current Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh for “working this every minute of every day” against daunting budgetary challenges to restore readiness.