Team Whiteman concludes Red Flag 21-1, personnel gains over 450 hours of experience

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Sadie Colbert
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Operating as the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Team Whiteman concluded Red Flag 21-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 12.

As the lead wing for the three-week large-force exercise, Whiteman utilized the Nevada Test and Training Range’s 12,000 square miles of airspace to ensure around 2,400 participants gained valuable experience from the training’s challenging scenarios and increased overall interoperability.

“Overall, it was really great training because the Red Flag staff really amped up the scenarios we fought against,” said Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, Red Flag Air Expeditionary Wing and 509th Bomb Wing commander. “We’ve started turning our training focus to fighting near-peer adversaries, which are opponents who bring really significant fire power to the fight.”

Participating units came from nearly 20 states, multiple nations and several sister services acting as allies and opposing forces. The exercise teams included an array of aircraft such as the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lighting II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, EA-18G Growler, F-15E Strike Eagle, A-10 Thunderbolt II and KC-135 Stratotanker.

“To be able to get here and dedicate three solid weeks to an exercise is invaluable training for us,” said Schreiner. “We think of Red Flag as a mock war so of course we want to go out and win everything, but the real training comes when we don’t execute the plan perfectly. We grow significantly better in airpower when we get back together after training, tear the mission apart and figure out what we could’ve done better.”

Approximately 100 Whiteman personnel put in more than 450 hours into planning and executing almost 60 exercise missions and dropping more than 800 simulated payloads. The exercise gave other units an opportunity to work with Air Force Global Strike Command’s premier stealth assets.

“War fighting is a team sport,” said Lt. Col. Chris Conant, 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander. “It takes an entire team to bring an all-domain fight to our enemies. We have U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, air, land, space and cyber assets come together to integrate in a way that we can exploit the adversaries’ weaknesses and protect each other and the B-2.”

Schreiner congratulated the 393rd BS for a job well done and expressed thanks for the opportunity to participate in RF 21-1.

“Once again, Red Flag showed what it’s capable of and that it’s the premier combat training exercise the Air Force hosts,” said Schreiner. “When the whole force comes together to fight we’re ready to mix it up with anyone out there.”