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Red Flag 18-2: building confidence, leadership, warfighter culture

Red Flag 18-2

A B1-B bomber assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas takes off from Nellis AFB, Nevada for a Red Flag 18-1 training mission on Feb. 15, 2018. The 414th Combat Training Squadron is responsible for executing Red Flag and this exercise is just one of a series of advanced training programs administered at Nellis and on the Nevada Test and Training Range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lorenz Crespo)

NEELIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --

Red Flag 18-2 is underway at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Flights will generate twice daily from the base through March 23, for realistic training scenarios that will be conducted over the skies of Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas. 

The exercise is America’s premier integration air combat exercise. The exercise works to build confidence under fire, integrated leadership, and to develop a warfighter culture for air crews, ground controllers, space and cyber operators. Red Flag also helps maintenance and support personnel test their readiness capabilities.

The realistic combat training focuses on first time Airmen, mission commanders, and those unique integrated experiences that builds partnerships and interoperability across multiple domains to increase readiness in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.

“We’re looking to balance the demands on Red Flag to integrate a lot of capabilities into a limited amount of training,” said Col. Michael Mathes, commander, 414th Combat Training Squadron. “The way we’re going to do that is to focus on a prioritized approach.

“Confidence under fire is our first priority, which translates into historically Red Flag’s effort to increase our youngest Airmen’s readiness and survivability.  The integrated leadership objective is about packaging mission commander training.  And the warfighter culture is a way of qualifying a whole lot of Red Flag unique experiences that our audience can only get while they are visiting here,” Mathis continued.

Red Flag pits participants in highly contested environments that test every aspect of their warfighting capabilities with targets on the NTTR, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.

 

“We do our very best to replicate multi-domain challenges in a contested environment that will create a complex warfighting challenge that any single weapon system or single team would not be able to handle alone,” said Mathis.  “The fun thing about integrated warfighting is it forces a team to form up and to see the power of positive relationships--that is really the critical element we are trying to develop.”

 

The exercise threat environment created by the 414th CTS is to familiarize participants to relevant threats while building critical experiences, tactical leadership, and warfighting awareness to fight together, survive together and win together.

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