100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for
Exercise Red Flag 16-3
By Tech. Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes,
50th Space Wing Public Affairs / Published July 20, 2016.
Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada — (AFNS)
— July 20, 2016 — The three-week long Red Flag 16-3, a U.S.-only exercise that
tests all participating units’ combat capabilities in a joint environment that
centers on multi-domain integration, kicked off here July 11.
A 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon from Aviano Air
Base, Italy, takes off from Nellis AFB
Red Flag is the service’s premier air-to-air combat training
exercise and one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the
U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and executed through the 414th Combat Training
Squadron. Previous Red Flag exercises have provided experiences to master the
air domain, but todays’ exercises must incorporate all domains.
“We fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. This is
the exercise where we’ll put this to the test,” said Col. DeAnna Burt, the Red
Flag 16-3 Air Expeditionary Wing commander.
Burt is the first space domain leader to ever command an AEW
at a Red Flag exercise, a position that has traditionally been staffed by
aviators. She will lead the joint operation into accomplishing its main
objective of “establishing habits of achieving multi-domain combat success today
to enable the rapid defeat of America’s adversaries tomorrow.”
Maj. Kyle Ruthford conducts preflight inspections during
exercise Red Flag 16-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev.
As an AEW commander, Burt will be focused on multi-domain
execution and will be engaging participants to determine how they plan to
utilize the capabilities of all domains to supplement a tactical mission. “We want to force people out of their comfort zone. We’ll be
pushing them to talk about kinetic and non-kinetic effects and how when they are
synchronized achieve tactical success,” the colonel explained.
Capt. Justin Lee, a 79th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting
Historically, the exercise’s third iteration of the year is a
U.S.-only operation. This year, 115 aircraft from 25 Defense Department units
will be operating at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), the Air Force’s
premier military training area with more than 15,000 square miles of airspace
and 2.9 million acres of land. And for the first time, an F-35 Lightning II is
participating in the exercise. The aircraft is from the, Marine Fighter Attack
Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma,
Red Flag 16-3 participants are faced with 1,900 possible
targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force that cannot be
replicated anywhere else in the world. Nellis Air Force Base and the NTTR are
the home of a simulated battlefield, providing combat air forces the ability to
train to fight together in a peacetime environment, and to survive and win