Tuesday, October 4, 2022

U.S. Air Force launches first Red Flag exercise of 2022

The U.S. Air Force reported Monday that nearly 100 aircraft and 3,000 personnel have arrived at Nellis Air Force Base to participate in the first Red Flag exercise of 2022. 

According to a recent service news release, aimed at providing realistic training and increasing combat effectiveness, the exercise will run from Jan. 24 to Feb. 11.

“Red Flag-Nellis 22-1 is America’s premier air combat exercise focused on readiness and partnering through Air Expeditionary Wing-led strike ops,” said Col. Jared Hutchinson, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “In its 47th year of execution, participants will build confidence under fire and integrated leadership and warfighter culture that will lead to victorious coalition fights.


“They will learn from each other face-to-face, so we’ll all be better prepared and ready when we meet again in another region of the world,” he added.

With the 388th Fighter Wing from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, at the lead wing position, this iteration will include participants from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines, Space Force, Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserves, the United Kingdom (Royal Air Force) and Australia (Royal Australian Air Force).

Aircraft participating include the A-10, B-2, B-52, E-3, E-7A, E-8, EA-18G, EC-130, F-15E, F-16C, F-22, F-35, FGR4, HC-130, KC-135, MH-60, MQ-9, RC-135 and RQ-4.

“Red Flag 22-1 is a unique exercise, because it demonstrates the most cutting edge-tactical integration of air power from the U.S. and her primary allies, the U.K. and Australia,” said Hutchinson. “Each flag pushes the state of the art to a new level by building on the efforts of previous Red Flags. There are many new and emerging real-world tactical problems that will be presented for the first time to the allied force.”

Brig. Gen. Michael Drowley, 57th Wing commander, welcomed participants during a pre-brief Jan. 21. He advised the units that the training they are about to receive has evolved over time and includes modern-day problem sets aimed to prepare them if they get the call to defend the nation.

During the exercise, red forces, led by the 57th Operations Group and supported by the Nevada Test and Training Range, will drive static, dynamic and adaptive threats, challenging participants.

“All eyes are on this Red Flag to see how you lead through the fog and friction of combat. Fight’s on,” said Drowley.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.