Red Flag Platinum

Australian F/A-18 Hornets are sharing the flight line with British Tornado GR.4s and Air Force fighters, including F-22s, for the Red Flag air combat training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev. “With our fighter force about to transition to the [F-35] in a couple of years, it’s really important that we start to get up to speed with fifth generation capabilities and techniques,” explained Group Capt. Vincent Iervasi, Royal Australian Air Force detachment commander. The RAAF traditionally participates in Red Flag with the United States and British Royal Air Force every two years. “The access to capabilities at Red Flag, from a force-integration perspective, is something we can’t get anywhere else in the world,” said Iervasi. Red Flag 12-3 is rated a tier 1 exercise, involving allied forces cooperating at the highest level of security classification. This Red Flag iteration began Feb. 27 and runs through Friday. (Nellis report by SrA. Jack Sander)