Welcome to Red Flag!

   Please read the following briefing carefully. The success of this exercise is directly linked to you, the pilots who will be flying as Blue Air, and the amount of preparation and effort each of you puts in to making this a successful & fun Red Flag experience. Some of the most effective things you can do to help make this go smoothly are:

(1) Have the correct install of Falcon 4 up and running as per 56th VFW standards/instructions. The install for Red Flag 08-01 is our standard NWI/OF 4.5 install.

(2) Have the right theater selected. In this case we'll be flying out of Nellis AFB using the Nevada Red Flag 1 theater.

(3) Make sure you know the correct connection procedures, and that you have any required options set up and ready to go. For example IVC. If you need assistance please get with your SQ leadership, or any of the 56th VFW leadership.

(4) Show up for flights on time and ready to fly. Read any briefings provided to you ahead of time and know what your part in the mission is.

(5) Support your leadership and wing/SQ mates in any way that you possibly can. From listening attentively to helping mission plan, to knowing your job.... it all adds up to more effective performance as a whole and definately to more fun & enjoyment for everyone.

   Red Flag is the USAF's premier large force air combat training exercise catering to air force personel of the USAF, USN, USMC, and friendly allied nations. Nellis AFB's 414th CTS conducts war exercises so combat aircrews can train in the most realistic simulated war environment possible. Red Flag is neither a competition between flying units nor a competition between pilots. Spanning two-week periods several times throughout the year, the exercise is an advanced, realistic combat training exercise designed for fighter pilots, and conducted over the vast Nellis Range Complex, which measures 60 by 100 nautical miles. The training involves air-to-air engagements as well as engagement with ground targets, such as mock airfields, convoys, and other ground defensive positions and simulates a combat pilots first 10 combat missions.

   The 56th VFW Red Flag will focus on the same areas as the real world exercise. In a nut shell, day & night A/A & A/G air combat ops. We are going to attempt to do this as realistically as possible/practical.

   This will be a month long event and will feature joint ops focusing on large force air combat employment. Mission types will include everything from DCA & ESCORT to SEAD & STRIKE. An exercise war "scenario" has been established the details of which can be found on the Intel portion of the Blue Air & Red Air sections of this site. The prosecution of the "war" and strategy will be planned and implemented by SQ/Wing leadership. Basically an overall objective will be given at the start of the exercise by the over all Joint Force Commander (JFC). Higher level SQ/Wing leadership assigned as the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) and Deputy JFACC, will generate the ATO based on general exercise taskings handed down by the JFC. Detailed mission planning will fall to assigned package and flight leaders. The JFC, JFACC and Deputy JFACC for Green Flag 08-01 are:

JFC: Thumpper



   The JFACC and Deputy JFACC will be running the show for the Blue Force Air Power part of the exercise. They will select their staff, set the ATO, assign pilots to Package & Flight lead positions, set the real world times & days for actual flight ops, delegate any responsibilities they see fit to ensure accomplishment of successful Blue Force exercise ops and training goals, and give final approval to any and all mission plans. They will also have the final word on substitutions to the Red Flag roster and participation in Red Flag mission flights.

    After the exercise start & JFC issueance of the main exercise objective, JFACC staff will develop the overall air battle plan and issue the ATO to Package & Flight leads so they can conduct specific mission planning. The JFACC will be able to utilize all Air component asstets available "in Theater". That is use both human and AI assets at their discretion to win the war. One week before the official exercise start date, main objectives and the first Red Flag TE will be sent to the JFACC staff. The JFACC staff can then plan and alot forces as needed and then allow Package/Flight Leads to make adjustmets to the TE for specific mission planning. Final mission plans and TE updates will then be sent back to the JFACC for final approval. This process MUST be accomplished prior to the flight time/date established by the JFACC staff. Publishing & conducting Individual Package & Flight briefs will be the responsibility of the Package/Flight Leads. Package & Flight leads should feel free to delegate responsibilities and have their flight members be as involved in the mission planning process as they see fit.

   The empahsis for Red Flag will be: War planning for senior leadership.....Blue 4 (Lt's thru Capt's) experience/ for all experience levels.

The Bad Guys: Red Air & Red Ground Forces

Red Flag 08-01 WILL include a human Aggressor presence in the air. The Red Air Aggressors will accurately replicate threat tactics and performance in a scaled presentation starting out in a limited presentation and increasing to a full up "cuffs" off replication of 3rd & 4th gen threats by the end of the exercise. Do not let this discourage you from participating. Our 64th AGRS pilots have been training for months to provide you with the very best and most accurate threat presentation & threat training. Using human aggressors will enhance the Red Flag experience and allow for much more flexible engagements, more meaningful training opportunities as well as lessons learned. Trust me.... it'll be a lot more fun with a human Aggressor presence than without. OPFOR ground threats will also be deployed for Blue Air to fly against. These will consist of legacy SAM's and AAA such as the SA-2 & 3, and more modern/emerging threats such as the SA-12 & 19.

   Expect for the Red Flag scenario to begin with an order to commence combat operations against Red Force assests. Blue Force personnel will fly the FRAG established by exercise leadership and plan & execute various mission taskings as the "War" progresses. We may be conducting two combat mission or more per a weekend. This depends on JFACC/Staff planning/desires. No one signed up for Red Flag will be expected to fly more than one mission per weekend. If you'd like to of course please let you Blue Force leadership know and sign up. Plan on flying one combat mission on the weekend. Exact time and day will be set by Blue Force command/JFACC

   There will be mini training camps / spin up training conducted by various 56th SQ's geared toward the weapons, systems and tactics needed to be successful in this exercise.

   Ultimately it is the responsibility of SQ leadership and each individual pilot, to ensure that those pilots attending Red Flag are trained and ready to perform in the exercise. Red Flag is a training exercise for employment tactics, not a basic training school. You should show up with a decent knowledge of the systems you will be required to employ during this exercise. At a minimum you need to have a knowledge of and how to use & basically employ the:

FCR A/G modes, targeting pod, LGB's, GPS munitions, NVG's, HAD/AGM-88, CBU's, "dumb" bombs, CCIP & CCRP deliveries, Gun strafing, IDM data interpretation, FCR A/A modes, AIM-120 & AIM-9M, mission planning options on the briefing screen, IVC (both setup & Operation in game), and data sharing via IDM.

   Finally if you are reading this & want to participate in Red Flag, please make sure that you sign up on the 56th MB. Only those pilots who have signed up will be able to fly in this exercise. If you have any issues, questions or concerns please ask your SQ leadership, Thumpper or General for assistance.

        Good luck & happy hunting to you all, and I'll see you in the air.