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Blacksnakes gain pre-deployment experience at Red Flag 21-1

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Baer, crew chief assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, taps the wing of an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to a training mission at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 27, 2021. The 122nd Fighter Wing is participating in Red Flag 21-1, which provides pilots the experience of training against adversary tactics. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Thomas Cox)

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II sits on the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 27, 2021. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support to ground forces. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Thomas Cox)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Baer, an A-10 Thunderbolt II crew chief assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, performs a preflight inspection prior to a Red Flag 21-1 training mission at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 27, 2021. The 122nd Fighter Wing is participating in Red Flag Nellis 21-1, which utilizes the Nevada Test and Training Range, the U.S. Air Force’s premier military training area with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Thomas Cox)

- U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan “Gus” Schipper, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, climbs aboard his aircraft prior to a training mission at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 27, 2021. The mission of the 122nd Fighter Wing is to maintain well-trained, adaptable Airmen and highly maintained A-10 aircraft available immediately for combat operations and combat support anywhere in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Thomas Cox)

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.”

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