Red Flag Starts Up Again

The Air Force this week kick-started its first Red Flag exercise since sequester-related funding cuts sidelined such exercises last year. The premier air-to-air combat training began Jan. 27 as allied and US aircraft took to the skies above Nellis AFB’s Nevada Test and Training Range. The exercise is slated to run through Feb. 14. Some 3,200 people, more than 100 aircraft, and 66 squadrons will participate in Red Flag 14-1, which also includes allied aircrews from Great Britain and Australia. Hosted by the 414th Combat Training Squadron at Nellis, the exercise is focused on “seamless integration of space and cyber assets to prepare for the ever-evolving, nonkinetic threat,” states a Jan. 28 base release. Red Flag is a “time for weapons systems [professionals] from many different platforms to get together and learn to integrate their abilities in a very difficult environment,” said Maj. Nathan Boardman, Red Flag 14-1 team chief—the first non-pilot team chief in Red Flag history. “We’re always looking for new ways to integrate non-kinetic capabilities into the exercise.” (See also Red Flag’s Back)