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Vol. 65 No. 34
                                                                                                                                                                                        August 28, 2015

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

                                                                                  U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler  By Airman 1st Class Jake Carter                deployment said he would have been lost
                                                                                                                                                                                        without the Red Flag training but with it, it
A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base,                                                    99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs              had made integrating with other countries
S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a                                                                                                 a breeze.”
range of over 2,500 miles, the C-17 is capable of carrying 102 troops or paratroopers                                                       NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. —
or 170,900 pounds of cargo at a service ceiling of 45,000 feet.                                                                          From its inception in 1975, Red Flag exer-        With Red Flag training Airmen and
                                                                                                                                         cises have tested military members’ combat     other individuals in the air, space and cy-
                                                                                                                                         capabilities in air, space and cyberspace.     berspace domain, every Red Flag exercise
                                                                                                                                         Red flag 15-4, which concluded here Aug.28,    brings in players that are new to the exercise.
                                                                                                                                         will close out 40 years of Red Flag activity.
                                                                                                                                                                                           “Some of the differences from Red Flag
                                                                                                                                            Col. Jeffrey Weed, 414th Combat Train-      are the different set of partners that we have
                                                                                                                                         ing Squadron commander, expressed his          come out each time,” Weed said. “For every
                                                                                                                                         enthusiasm for the cohesion created be-        Red Flag, we usually have a quarter or a
                                                                                                                                         tween foreign allies and the U.S.              third amount of people who are new players
                                                                                                                                                                                        and there might have been even more than
                                                                                                                                            “I’m really impressed with the integra-     that (for Red Flag 15-4).”
                                                                                                                                         tion of foreign countries (for Red Flag
                                                                                                                                         15-4),” Weed said. “There is tremendous           During Red Flag exercises, it is common
                                                                                                                                         integration on their part when they come,”     to see foreign counterparts participating in
                                                                                                                                         Weed said. “Also, this is the second time      the exercise, but with the 2016 Red Flags,
                                                                                                                                         we’ve had Virtual Flag as part of Red Flag     countries who haven’t been to Red Flag in
                                                                                                                                         as well.”                                      quite some time will make an appearance.

                                                                                                                                            Weed was also impressed with what U.S.         “For next year, Red Flag will be similar
                                                                                                                                         forces were able to accomplish together dur-   to this year with four exercises occurring,”
                                                                                                                                         ing the exercise.                              Weed said. “For the second and fourth Red
                                                                                                                                                                                        Flag, we will be including foreign players
                                                                                                                                            “Working with foreign countries has         which include the United Kingdom, Aus-
                                                                                                                                         been a collective partnership,” Weed said.     tralia, Turkey, Italy, Pakistan, United Arab
                                                                                                                                         “There has also been great training with our   Emirates, and Spain.”
                                                                                                                                         sister service Marine and Navy members.
                                                                                                                                         We had ground forces stay out in the field        With integrating being a large part of
                                                                                                                                         for the entire exercise and have had the       Red Flag exercises, Weed noticed that
                                                                                                                                         broadest jamming capabilities from the         learning and teamwork is what can make
                                                                                                                                         Navy ever.”                                    a Red Flag exercise successful.

                                                                                                                                            Joel Reed, a graphics artist assigned to       “Learning is one of the biggest things
                                                                                                                                         the 414th CTS, has noticed the change in       you notice when Red Flag is over,” Weed
                                                                                                                                         Red Flag and integration since the very        said. “With the U.S. and foreign countries,
                                                                                                                                         beginning of Red Flag in 1975 when he          the biggest thing is learning or teamwork.”
                                                                                                                                         was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base as a
                                                                                                                                         uniformed Airman, and from 1992 when              With Weed retiring in the near future,
                                                                                                                                         he became a civilian employee at the 414th     he has complete confidence in his pre-
                                                                                                                                         CTS.                                           decessor that he will be able to keep the
                                                                                                                                                                                        mission going effectively.
                                                                                                                                            “The scope of the training for integrating
                                                                                                                                         has exploded,” Reed said. “The training use       “(Red Flag 15-4) will be my last Red
                                                                                                                                         to be fighter-oriented but now it encom-       Flag,” Weed said. “A good friend of mine,
                                                                                                                                         passes all of the Air Force domains. The       Col. Greg Marzolf, will be the new com-
                                                                                                                                         feedback from past participants has been       mander by way of Colorado State Univer-
                                                                                                                                         outstanding and one pilot who went on a        sity, but this will be his fourth tour at Nellis
                                                                                                                                                                                        and I believe he will do great.”

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