The first Exercise Red Flag Nellis of 2023 is off to a flying start at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, USA, with the Royal Australian Air Force deploying up to five EA-18G Growler aircraft from No. 6 Squadron and approximately 100 aviators in support of the Exercise to enhance Australia’s air-power interoperability with partner nations [If they are already in Nellis, why the non-specific number? Can anyone actually count?].
FILE PHOTO (August 2021): A RAAF KC-30A refuels a No. 6 Squadron EA-18G Growler during a ferry from Australia to the United States for Exercise Red Flag Alaska. Story by Flying Officer Bronwyn Marchant.
RAAF’s Director General Air, Air Commodore John Haly said combined-force training between the Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force provided a critical opportunity for partner nations to enhance their skills.
“Exercises such as Red Flag Nellis are an opportunity to advance relationships and interoperability with the United States and United Kingdom,” Air Commodore Haly said.
“Although Australia conducts similar training activities domestically, the scope and scale of Red Flag Nellis cannot be replicated within Australia.”
RAAF’s detachment commander Wing Commander Steven Thornton said Exercise Red Flag Nellis would provide complex and advanced aerial training against simulated targets and realistic threat systems.
“This training helps ensure RAAF remains ready to deploy aircraft and personnel away from their home base and sustain high-tempo operations,” Wing Commander Thornton said.
“It also provides the necessary environment for testing and development of new work practices, systems or role expansion.”
Exercise Red Flag Nellis will conclude on 10 February 2023.