Air Force Arrives in the Unit­ed States For Exer­cise Red Flag

Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force air­craft and per­son­nel have arrived at Nel­lis Air Force Base, Neva­da, to par­tic­i­pate in the Unit­ed States Air Force’s most advanced inter­na­tion­al air com­bat train­ing activ­i­ty, Exer­cise Red Flag, which com­mences on Sun­day 21 February. 

No 77 Squadron from RAAF Base Williamtown are lead­ing the activ­i­ty, with eight F/A‑18 Hor­net fight­er jet air­craft and approx­i­mate­ly 160 Air Force per­son­nel from across Aus­tralia deploy­ing to Exer­cise Red Flag to con­duct com­plex air com­bat mis­sions at one of the world’s best train­ing facilities. 

Aus­tralian forces will join the US and UK for the two week multi­na­tion­al exer­cise that con­cludes on 5 March. 

Com­man­der Air Com­bat Group, Air Com­modore Mel Hupfeld, has high­light­ed the val­ue of Air Force’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the exercise. 

“Exer­cise Red Flag involves a series of air com­bat sce­nar­ios that test oper­a­tional air and ground crews to the high­est lev­el. It pro­vides the ulti­mate envi­ron­ment in which our Air Force per­son­nel can show­case their extra­or­di­nary abil­i­ties in a deployed sce­nario,” Air Com­modore Hupfeld said. 

“Exer­cise Red Flag pro­vides a lev­el of oper­a­tional sim­u­la­tion not avail­able in Aus­tralia or the region, and reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pa­tion is a major con­trib­u­tor to Australia’s high stan­dard of air com­bat capa­bil­i­ty,” Air Com­modore Hupfeld said. 

The large scale exer­cise will involve expe­ri­enced air­crews from the dif­fer­ent air forces fly­ing Strike, Elec­tron­ic War­fare, Tac­ti­cal Trans­port, Fight­er Escort, Air­borne Warn­ing and Con­trol and Air to Air refu­elling air­craft against ded­i­cat­ed defen­sive fight­er air­craft and an exten­sive range of sim­u­lat­ed Sur­face to Air threats. 

“Red Flag also pro­vides invalu­able train­ing for our logis­tics, sup­port and main­te­nance per­son­nel as they are able to prac­tice deploy­ing to anoth­er coun­try and work­ing togeth­er with oth­er Air Forces,” Air Com­modore Hupfeld said. 

Strate­gic air lift and logis­tic sup­port will be pro­vid­ed by C‑130H and C‑130J Her­cules from 37 Squadron at RAAF Richmond. 

The exer­cise is con­duct­ed on the 15,000-square-mile Neva­da Test and Train­ing Range, north of Las Vegas. Red Flag is one of a series of advanced train­ing pro­grams admin­is­tered by the U.S. Air Force War­fare Cen­ter and Nel­lis, through the 414th Com­bat Train­ing Squadron. 

Depart­ment of Defence, Australia 

Media con­tact:
Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664
Flight Lieu­tenant Skye Smith: +61 438 462 944 or

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