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NEWS | Aug. 17, 2017

94 FS takes to the skies for Red Flag 17-4

By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 94th Fighter Squadron from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., has taken to the skies for the first time as part of Red Flag 17-4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., completing training on the bombing and gunnery ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Range. 

While in the air with multiple types of attack, fighter and command and control aircraft from August 14 to 25, 2017 the 94th FS plans to perfect their skills on defensive and offensive counter-air operations. While additionally increasing their ground launch procedures and mission planning with Airmen from the squadron.

“For a lot of Airmen in the 94th Fighter Squadron and 94th and 27th Aircraft maintenance units this is their first time coming to Red Flag,” said Lt. Col. Habu Young, 94th Fighter Squadron commander. “The ability to plan and execute a mission, not only with other airframes, but with other branches of the military and our coalition partners from Singapore and Saudi Arabia, isn’t an experience that you can get on a daily basis back at Langley. Being here at Red Flag gives us the first exposure to a large force exercise that is similar to combat operations.”

Red Flag, is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies, and is coordinated at Nellis AFB. It is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the United States Air Force Warfare Center and Nellis and executed through the 414th Combat Training Squadron.

For pilots flying as their first Red Flag, its gives them the opportunity to exercise skills that they otherwise would not have, actual air to air combat and ground target elimination. Being able to test and utilize these skills, gives the Squadron the leading edge in a real combat scenario.

According to Capt. Flash, Red Flag or any large exercise is very important for a fighter pilot, especially for younger pilots, as it gives them the opportunity to work with and learn from other airframes, services, coalition nations and systems in a contested environment.

“The exercise drives home the importance of mission planning and how to effectively and efficiently develop a sound tactical game plan with people we simply do not have the capability to train with at home station,” said Flash. “The threat replication at Red Flag also allows you to execute that game plan in the air and then highlight strengths and weaknesses of that plan. “

Red Flag was established in 1975 as one of the initiatives directed by General Robert J. Dixon, then commander of Tactical Air Command, to better prepare our forces for combat. Tasked to plan and control this training, the 414th Combat Training Squadron's mission is to maximize the combat readiness, capability and survivability of participating units by providing realistic training in a combined air, ground, space and electronic threat environment while providing for a free exchange of ideas between forces.