Red Flag 17-3 Kicking Off Summer Heat with Air Force, Marine F-35s
The U.S. Air Force began Red Flag 17-3, its three-week air-to-air combat training exercise, today and will conclude July 28
U.S. Marine Corps Photo
Aircraft will depart from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., twice daily to participate in combat training missions on the Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas in one of the Air Force’s largest joint exercises.
“For Red Flag, we bring in our joint warfighters with their capabilities and their equipment,” said Lt. Col. Mark Sadler, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “We come together, fight as a team, and we get to learn from each other as we do that.”
Each Red Flag exercise is unique and Red Flag 17-3 is no different. For the first time, there will be two F-35 Lightning II squadrons participating.
The Marine Corps’ F-35Bs will participate alongside the Air Force’s F-35As for the first time in Red Flag history.
As the F-35 mission continues to grow, so will the operators, maintainers and the system as a whole. We get to learn in a realistic training environment as we continue to progress down the road with this platform and other fifth-generation or fourth-generation aircraft, said Sadler.
Sadler said, having two F-35 units at Red Flag will allow us to learn about the capabilities of both the F-35A and the F-35B models from each other.