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Red Flag-Rescue returns to advance premier training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

Red Flag-Rescue 21-2 was hosted across Arizona and New Mexico, Aug. 9 – 20, 2021.

Red Flag-Rescue is the Department of Defense’s premier combat search and rescue exercise. The exercise provides advanced, realistic and relevant air-to-surface integration warfighter training in a robust contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.

While this is a recurring training exercise, each iteration offers an opportunity to share feedback from previous training and best practices working along experts in other services and allied partners who execute the CSAR mission. The intent of Red Flag-Rescue exercise training is to routinely refine the tactics necessary to provide rapid and decisive combat and rescue response.

“The U.S. Air Force executes challenging and diverse missions across the globe and personnel recovery is critical to that success. Airmen often partner with the joint force and our allies to rescue isolated personnel,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Allen, 414th Combat Training Squadron Detachment 1 commander. “This recurring training is vital to ensure the DOD, the Air Force and our multi-national partners are ready to execute CSAR and bring our personnel home.”

The two-week exercise included units from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and allied partners.

U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, a KC-135 Stratotanker and multiple C-130 variants trained alongside Army CH-47 Chinooks, C-12 Hurons, Navy E-2 Hawkeyes, as well as various other aircraft. The opportunity to integrate these forces into one another provides a unique opportunity to build interoperability amongst not only each service, but across the entire DOD.

By focusing on CSAR planning and execution, Red Flag-Rescue provides realistic training in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments to allow DOD and allied forces to provide rapid and decisive combat airpower, allowing the joint force to defend the U.S. and win our nation’s wars.

“The training areas utilized for Red Flag-Rescue provide the landscape necessary to mimic the austere environment where real world CSAR planning and execution take place,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. August O’Niell, 414th Combat Training Squadron Detachment 1 ground operations section chief. “Our goal is to fortify CSAR capabilities during training operations to intuitively execute when necessary.”