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Red Flag Exercise 2001 Starts March 3

Red Flag Exercise 2001 Starts March 3

Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada -- March 2, 2001 (AFPN) -- The annual exercise known as Red Flag will bring in more than 7,000 participants and 120 aircraft from U.S military and allied air forces from Spain, Singapore, Germany, France and the United Kingdom here March 3 to April 13.

Red Flag, celebrating its 25th Anniversary in November 2000, is the premiere combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States of America and its allies.

Red Flag, a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies, is conducted on Nevada's vast bombing and gunnery ranges. It is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the Air Warfare Center and the 414th Combat Training Squadron here.

Most of the aircraft and personnel deployed here for Red Flag make up the exercise's "blue" forces. These forces use various tactics to attack range targets, such as mock airfields, vehicle convoys, tanks, parked aircraft, bunkered defensive positions and missile sites. These targets are defended by a variety of simulated ground and air threats to give participant aircrews the most realistic combat training possible.

This exercise sharpens aerial combat skills by providing realistic training in a combined air, ground and electronic threat environment -- the same environment that is found on any potential battlefield around the world. The base hosts four Red Flag exercises every year.

Red Flag is divided into three periods lasting two weeks each. Allied aircraft flying in the first period include GR-7 Harriers from the United Kingdom; EF-18 Hornets from Spain, Tornados from Germany; and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Singapore. United States forces will include F-16s, F-15 Eagles, B-52 Stratofortresses, E-3 Sentries and KC-135 Stratotankers.

Allied aircraft during the second period include GR-4 Tornados from the Royal Air Force; Mirage 2000s from the French air force; and Tornados from the German air force. United States forces will include A-10 Thunderbolts, F-16s, EA-6 Prowlers, E-3s and KC-135s.

During the final period of Red Flag, March 31 to April 14, allied participation will continue to include Tornados from the United Kingdom and Germany, and the Mirage 2000 from France. United States aircraft will continue to include B-52s, F-16s, E-3s, and F-15C's and KC-135s. All three periods will include various cargo and support aircraft as well as helicopters.

Red Flag was established in 1975 as one of the initiatives directed by Gen. Robert J. Dixon, then commander of Tactical Air Command, to better prepare forces for combat. Tasked to plan and control this training, the 414th Combat Training Squadron's mission is to maximize the combat readiness, capability and survivability of participating units by providing realistic training in a combined air, ground and electronic threat environment while providing for a free exchange of ideas between forces.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).