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4th FW takes on Red Flag as lead wing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kylee Gardner
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 350 Airmen and 16 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing recently traveled from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to take part in Exercise Red Flag 22-3 as a lead wing.

During the month-long exercise, which is held in three iterations annually, the 4th FW will participate in advanced aerial combat training exercises alongside and against American military forces and other allied countries.

“Red Flag is America's premier air combat integration exercise,” said Col. Chad Shenk, 414th Fighter Group commander and the core wing commander for the exercise.

“This is a great opportunity our members have to integrate with multiple platforms and bring their capabilities together in a large force exercise.”

The exercise offers in-depth training for pilots and other aircrew members by simulating a realistic aerial combat scenario in a controlled environment. Pilots and aircrew, however, are not the only members from the 4th FW who are participating in Exercise Red Flag 22-3.

“The Airmen that are temporarily deploying in support of the exercise come from all different career fields,” said 1st. Lt. Blake Phillips, 4th Logistic Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight commander. “There will be members from aircrew flight equipment, aircraft maintenance, aircrew ground equipment, intelligence, weather, weapons, and more. Having members from all different career fields with different expertise is vital to the success of the mission, both during the exercise and in real-world scenarios; everyone has a part.”

For this iteration of the exercise, the 4th FW is participating as a lead wing. Being designated as a lead wing means being ready to rapidly generate combat power as a deployed force.

“This Red Flag simulates high-end challenges from advanced adversaries, which is designed to maximize training and dynamic problem solving; all ingredients necessary to counter threats in the modern world,” said Capt. David Cline, 336th Fighter Squadron assistant director of current operations. “As the lead wing, we will be leading strike packages to destroy targets in simulated near-peer threat environments as well as defending assets threatened by the enemy.”

Overall, Exercise Red Flag provides a controlled space for aircrew and essential support agencies to hone their skills and prepare for possible real-world air-to-air combat situations.

“This exercise will be a great opportunity for all participants to train like we plan on fighting,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Foster, 4th Fighter Wing chief of safety. “We’ll be able to take the skills we practice during home station training and integrate with other units to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. The opportunity to integrate and cross-talk with other communities will make us all better.”