Multinational Mix of F-35s at Red Flag

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“Red Flag is a valuable opportunity for us to integrate the F-35 with other platforms and allied nations and fight in very realistic, challenging scenarios ...” – Lt. Col. Nathan Heguy, 421st FS commander

Multinational Mix of F-35s at Red Flag

American and Australian F-35s are training together during the U.S. Air Force’s premiere high-end training exercise.

Interoperability in Action

Allies assembled this month for Red Flag 24-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where they focused on the Indo-Pacific and combating the pacing challenge. The environment at Nellis replicates surface threats "better than anywhere else in the world," providing the airmen with realistic scenarios.

According to Maj. Bryan Butler, 421st Fighter Generation Squadron commander, Red Flag 24-1 tested their ability to "prepare and execute rapid disaggregation operations with the F-35A, without a pause or stop to mission sustainment."

"The [F-35s] have been performing extremely well. We haven't lost a single sortie due to a maintenance issue," Butler added.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Rufus

Leading the pack were F-35s of the 388th Fighter Wing from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, which served as the exercise’s core wing responsible for integrating and supporting the “deployed” international force of F-35As, F-35Bs, F-22s and other allied aircraft.

This was also the first time Royal Australian Air Force F-35As participated in the event.

“Exercise Red Flag Nellis will test every facet of our F-35A capability, allow us to integrate with our American and British allies, and practice how we project force on combat operations,” said Wing Commander Adrian Kiely, Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 3 Squadron.

Although the training focused on dispersed operations, integration and interoperability are key. The large-scale exercise provides realistic training in a simulated contested threat environment, resulting in an open exchange of ideas and lessons learned between the allied forces.