Blacksnakes gain pre-deployment experience at Red Flag 21-1
By Airman Thomas Cox and Airman Jakob Ivanick
/ Published January 28, 2021
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
The 122nd Fighter Wing “Blacksnakes” assigned to the Indiana Air National Guard and their A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft have arrived here to train at Red Flag 21-1 to prepare for future deployments.
“A lot of our new Airmen haven’t had a chance to deploy yet,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Swineheart, flight line expediter assigned to the 122nd FW. “This is a good chance for them to get experience before we go overseas.”
The goal of Red Flag is to provide aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties utilizing the Nevada Test and Training Range and the more than 12,000 square miles of air space it encompasses.
There is a variety of aircraft participating in Red Flag, ranging from the 122nd’s A-10s to fifth generation fighter aircraft and even U.S. Air Force Global Strike bombers.
“Everyone wants to be the tip of the spear,” said Swineheart. “We are the A-10s, so we really are the tip of that spear.”