Friday, June 18, 2021

U.S. Air Force trained against Russian-made combat vehicles

The U.S. Air Force has been testing new ways of defeating an advanced air-defense system and to carry out multi-service strikes.

The details were given in a 3 December media release, to announce more than 25 agencies are participating in exercise Emerald Flag, a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

According to a press release, Emerald Flag, Eglin Air Force Base’s first native multi-domain test exercise, began Dec. 1 on the Eglin AFB Test and Training Range.

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This inaugural event brings more than 25 agencies to participate. It is a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter.

“The goal is to align DoD resources across the Florida Panhandle and enable multi-domain test and experimentation to prepare the warfighter for a 21st-century fight,” said Maj. Alexander Hillman, 45th Test Squadron.

The Air Force also has released a slide highlighting multi-service efforts for the future battlefields. It’s interesting to note that the slide showed modern Russian-made S-400 air-defense systems, submarine and Su-34 combat aircraft as potential targets for airstrikes.

U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic

What’s more, Air Force released footage showed Russian T-72 main battle tanks that were used to support the exercise Emerald Flag on the Eglin Air Force Base Test and Training Range.

Russian T-72 battle tanks sit ready to support Emerald Flag on the Eglin Test and Training Range Nov. 30. Photo by 1st Lt. Karissa Rodriguez

The event incorporated ground, space, cyberspace and air platforms. The test connects those different platforms to improve the speed and flow of information, the release states.

Another large aspect of Emerald Flag is the integration of Eglin AFB’s “five Ws”: weapons, water, webs, widgets and warfighters, according to Hillman.

Weapons testing is part of the 96th Test Wing’s primary mission.

Water is a unique Eglin AFB capability that can be utilized in missions on the Eglin Test and Training Range.

Webs is the battlespace of the 96th Cyberspace Test Group in their role in delivering cyberspace capabilities.

Widgets refer to development programs from the Air Force Research Laboratory seeking to exercise or demonstrate their progress in a realistic test environment.

Warfighters is a reference to the 53rd Wing’s operational test presence.

Eglin AFB has the unique capability of integrating across and amongst these “five Ws” and enabling a development environment for the agencies participating in Emerald Flag, according to Hillman.

This demonstration environment concept originated from within the 96th Test Wing and AFRL’s Munitions Directorate, the Armament Directorate and the 53d Wing were integral in shaping the event.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. 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.

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