ST. GEORGE – Disturbances felt by Southern Utahns and surrounding areas over the past week, including thunder-like rumbles and booms, shaking of structures, and the like, are attributable to realistic combat training called Red Flag exercises currently taking place out of Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada.
The increase in military aircraft activity began Jan. 27 and runs through Feb. 14 for Red Flag 14-1. Red Flag 14-2 will take place from March 3-14.
Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air, space, and cyber forces of the United States and its allies. The exercise is hosted north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range –the U.S. Air Force’s premier military training area with more than 15,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land. With 1,900 possible targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, Nellis AFB and the Nevada Test and Training Range are the home of a simulated battlefield, providing combat air forces with the ability to train to fight together in a peacetime environment, and to survive and win together.
The 414th Combat Training Squadron is responsible for executing Red Flag. The exercise is one out of a series of advanced training programs administered at Nellis AFB and on the Nevada Test and Training Range by organizations assigned to the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.
More than 125 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice a day and aircraft may remain in the air for up to five hours. Flying times are scheduled to accommodate other flying missions at Nellis AFB and provide Red Flag participants with valuable training in planning and executing a wide variety of combat missions.
According to a statement from Nellis, the Red Flag 14-1 exercise include U.S. forces and aircraft from:
– 1st Fighter Wing, 27th Fighter Squadron, F-22As, Langley AFB, Va.
– 20th Fighter Wing, 55th Fighter Squadron, F-16CMs, Shaw AFB, S.C.
– 55th Electronic Group, 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, EC-130s, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
– Carrier Air Wing 17, Electronic Attack Squadron 132, EA-18G, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
– 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, EA-6B, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C.
– 509th Bomb Wing, 13th Bomb Squadron, B-2s, Whiteman AFB, MO.
– 366th Fighter Wing, 391st Fighter Squadron, F-15E, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.
– 140th Fighter Wing, 120th Fighter Squadron, F-16C, Buckley AFB, Colo.
– 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, F/A-18, Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, Calif.
– 116th Air Control Wing, 16th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, E-8s, Robins AFB, Ga.
– 55th Wing, 38th Reconnaissance Squadron, RC-135s, Offutt AFB, Neb.
– Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1, EP-3C, NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.
– Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten, Patrol Squadron 40, P-3C, NAS Whidbey Island Wash.
– 23rd Wing, 41st Rescue Squadron, HH-60s, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
– 23rd Wing, 71st Rescue Squadron, HC-130Js, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
– 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Red Flag Tanker Task Force, KC-135s, Fairchild AFB, Wash.
– 552nd Air Control Wing, 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron, E-3s, Tinker AFB, Okla.
– 57th Wing, 64th Aggressor Squadron, F-16Cs, Nellis AFB, Nev.
– 57th Wing, 65th Aggressor Squadron, F-15Cs, Nellis AFB, Nev.
In addition to U.S. aircraft, the Royal Australian Air Force, flying an E-7 and F-18s, and the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, flying Typhoons, GR-4 Tornados, and an E-3D are participating in Red Flag 14-1.
In March, aircraft will again converge at Nellis for Red Flag 14-2 exercises. As well as aircraft from around the U.S., U.S. aircraft from Japan and Germany will participate, as well as representation and aircraft from the Belgian air force, the Royal Danish Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force.
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