Red Flag-Nellis 24-2: shaping the future of air combat

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jordan McCoy
  • 57th Wing Public Affairs

During Red Flag 24-2, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps personnel trained alongside the Royal Netherlands Air Force from March 11 to 24, 2024.

Nellis is the best place on Earth to simulate ‘tomorrow’s’ fight''
Col. David Stamps, 366th Operations Group commander
This exercise presented a prime opportunity to forge pathways for collaboration with joint services and NATO countries. It showcased the cutting-edge capabilities of fifth-generation F-35 Lightning IIs and sophisticated threat replication techniques.

“Operations with our fifth-generation platform, the F-35, are critical to us,” said Air Commodore Johan van Deventer, commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Air Combat Command. “It’s an information platform that uses forward sensors to exchange that information, and it can go to a high-threat area. This is the place where we can practice that together with our coalition partner, the U.S., and we need to do that in the high-end fight. That’s why we come to Nellis.”


The evolving security landscape in Europe underscores the importance of not only possessing advanced aircraft, but also seamlessly integrated tactics within the NATO alliance. By operating with a common platform and leveraging advanced communication systems, enhanced coordination and joint operations during critical missions can be achieved. These advanced aircraft bring unprecedented capabilities, including enhanced stealth, sensor fusion, and network connectivity, which contribute to maintaining air superiority and deterring potential adversaries.

“Integrating these capabilities is essential to deterring our adversaries and assuring allies,” said Col. David Stamps, commander of the 366th Operations Group. “Red Flag 24-2 affords us the opportunity to fully integrate the joint force with our NATO allies to solve the most complex tactical problems in a peacetime environment. We plan together, fly together, and debrief together as one team across all combat specialties.”

Reflecting on the significance of the joint training during Red Flag 24-2, Stamps emphasized, “Our alliance needs to be deeper than a piece of paper. Meaning we must put actions to our words. Red Flag 24-2 brings together our joint services and NATO allies in a very tangible way that allows us to learn ways to employ integrated airpower better and celebrate victories along the way.”

Amidst the expansive Nevada Test and Training Range, NATO partners integrated seamlessly with U.S. joint services. This exercise marked one of the most extensive fifth-generation Red Flag exercises to include NATO and joint partners.

“Nellis is the best place on Earth to simulate ‘tomorrow’s’ fight,” said Stamps. The professionalism of the Aggressors is unmatched, and they are essential to the development of integrated Blue Force tactics. The dedication of all the services maintenance teams proves no one on the planet generates combat airpower better than the United States and our allies and partners.”