Exercise Red Flag Nellis 24-1 concludes in United States

2 February 2024

Exercise Red Flag Nellis 24-1 concluded in the United States on 2 February after three weeks of high-intensity air combat training that involved 150 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aviators.

Working with counterparts from the United States and United Kingdom, the RAAF deployed six F-35A Lightning II aircraft to the exercise for the first time, along with an air battle management team to coordinate the missions.

The exercise involved approximately 3000 personnel conducting a simulated air campaign in Nevada, and to airspace in the southwest of the United States.

Wing Commander Adrian Kiely, Commanding Officer of No. 3 Squadron, said the exercise helped ensure RAAF F-35As could defeat current and emerging threats if called upon.

“The F-35A is the world’s most advanced operational strike fighter, but its full potential only becomes apparent when it’s integrated within a wider network of systems like we see at Exercise Red Flag Nellis,” Wing Commander Kiely said.

“The mission scenarios require coordination to overcome a highly sophisticated air defence network, or precise integration across many domains for us to reach a distant target, all in the face of live and simulated threats.

“Exercise Red Flag Nellis provided a highly challenging environment for the participant nations involved, testing our interoperability and allowing us to better understand what we each bring to the fight.”

Wing Commander Peter Mole, Commanding Officer of No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit, led the tactical command and control team that coordinated and directed missions during the exercise.

“There are few opportunities for us to work alongside the United States and United Kingdom in an exercise as sophisticated as Red Flag Nellis, so this is a unique experience for many,” Wing Commander Mole said.

“Each mission is recorded and immediately debriefed, which allows participants to better understand how the wider mission played out and the outcome of their decision-making.

“We leave Exercise Red Flag Nellis 24-1 with a better understanding of how our tactics and techniques would work in a modern air campaign and assuredness that we can easily integrate with other nations in the future.”

Media note

Imagery of Exercise Red Flag Nellis 24-1 is available from http://images.defence.gov.au/S20233582/.

More information about the F-35A is available from https://www.airforce.gov.au/aircraft/f-35a-lightning-ii.

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