|Airpower Leaders Learn On The Cyber-Battlefield During Blue Flag |
Airpower Leaders Learn On The Cyber-Battlefield During Blue Flag
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana -- (AFPN) April 12, 2000 -- Eighth Air Force is now teaching a new generation of military leaders how to fight and win the next air war by using the power of cyberspace.
Called "Blue Flag," this mock battle trains future commanders and their staffs how to command and control aircraft, satellites and missiles using leading-edge computer systems.
"First, we've got to have a winning combination on the cyber-battlefield before we can engage the enemy effectively on land, sea, air or space," said Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Keck, 8th AF commander.
"During Blue Flag, millions of megabytes of electronic intelligence and live surveillance video comes pouring into our Air Operations Center. We organize and use the power of all this data to focus our forces where they can strike most effectively and defeat the enemy," Keck said.
Outside of an actual war, Blue Flag is the only place where the Air Force exposes senior leadership to how aerospace power is employed at the theater level. The closest thing to this level of training is the Red Flag exercises "fought" at Nellis AFB, Nev.
However, Nellis' Red Flag training focuses on the tactical or battlefield area while Blue Flag covers the entire theater of operations and teaches strategy, planning procedures, targeting and processes that put strategic airpower into battle.
"This is an investment in leadership," Keck said. "It is important for our military to train and keep track of airpower leaders who have gone through a Blue Flag exercise because they will be the ones we want at the helm during a real conflict."
Based on lessons learned from the Vietnam War, the first Blue Flag exercise was conducted in 1976. Evolving from grease pencil boards and typewriters to powerful computers, today's Blue Flag exercise teaches leaders from all branches of the U.S. military and allies. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)