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US Air Force Kicks Off 2022’s First Red Flag Exercise

More than 100 aircraft and 3,000 soldiers have arrived at Nellis Air Force Base to participate in the first Red Flag exercise of the year, the US Air Force announced.

Running from January 24 to February 11, the drill will provide realistic military training and increase combat effectiveness.

“Red Flag-Nellis 22-1 is America’s premier air combat exercise focused on readiness and partnering through Air Expeditionary Wing-led strike ops,” Col. Jared Hutchinson, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, said in a military statement.

“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,” the statement added.

More than 100 jets will depart the Nellis station twice a day and remain airborne for up to five hours at a time. Aircraft including the A-10, B-2, B-52, E series, F series, HC-130, KC-135, and MH-60 will participate.

The event will also feature night launches as military crews will prepare for nighttime combat operations.

Soldier Participation From Various Countries

Soldiers from US Air Force, Marines, Navy, Air Force Reserves, Space Force, and Air National Guard, as well as the UK’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force, will be present.

While the event will be inaugurated at Nellis Air Force Base, it will be hosted north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range, the US Air Force’s premier military training area with over 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land.

The two training bases are home to peacetime battlefields, allowing forces to engage in extensive military training.

Importance of Red Flag

The exercise provides air force crews with an opportunity to face realistic combat situations in a controlled environment, increasing the capability of military personnel to complete operations safely.

It also provides training for maintenance staff, space and cyber operators, and ground control to support operations within the tactical environment.

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