RAAF deploys for Ex Red Flag 19-1

The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed more than 370 personnel and eight aircraft to participate in the world’s most complex air warfare training at Exercise Red Flag Nellis 19-1 in the United States.

CAPTION: A Number 77 Squadron F/A-18A Hornet departs Nellis Air Force Base on an Exercise Red Flag 19-1 mission. Photo by Corporal David Cotton.

Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton said there were a number of benefits of Australia participating in the exercise.

“Royal Australian Air Force will train with the United States Air Force, United States Navy and the Royal Air Force in a complex reconstruction of a modern battlespace,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberton said.

“Up to six F/A-18A Classic Hornets from Number 77 Squadron, one E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft from Number 2 Squadron and one AP-3C (Electronic Warfare) Orion aircraft from Number 10 Squadron have flown over for the exercise.

“Air Force personnel will deploy to support the aircraft, operate an Australian Task Group Headquarters, augment the Combined Air Operations Centre with our coalition partners, provide cyber capabilities, and establish a Control and Reporting Centre.

“Not only are we learning from our partners and how we can best operate with each other, we are continuing our strong relationships that will enhance and strengthen our coalition into the future.”

Exercise Red Flag series is hosted by the USAF 414th Combat Training Squadron, and is held several times a year with a number of domestic and international participants.

Exercise Red Flag was established in 1975, with Australia being a regular participant since 1980.

Red Flag 19-1 runs from 22 January to 15 February 2019 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, USA.

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Brian Hartigan

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