June 13, 2014 (by Asif Shamim) - Eighteen F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 510th Fighter Squadron departed for Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to participate in the aerial-combat training exercise, Red Flag, on June 13, 2014.
An F-16 assigned to the 510th FS takes off from Aviano AB for Nellis AFB to participate in exercise Red Flag on June 13th, 2014. Red Flag will provide pilots with a realistic training environment to improve their air-to-ground combat capabilities. [USAF photo by A1C. Deana Heitzman]
The three-month deployment will provide pilots with the most realistic hands-on combat training available. Home station would not be able to provide this level of training.
"This tactical training will offer our pilots a rare opportunity to employ live air-to-ground weapons in a realistic environment," said Maj. Brian Kellam, 510 FS
pilot and RED FLAG project officer. "The training that we will receive is invaluable."
This will be the first time the squadron has participated in RED FLAG since 2006, and will also mark the largest weapons allocation that any squadron has dropped during a single RED FLAG, approximately 260,000 pounds of munitions.
"I'm incredibly proud of the time and effort our Airmen have devoted to make our participation at this RED FLAG possible," said Col. Anthony Abernathy, 31st Operations Group commander. "Training opportunities such as this provide an invaluable resource to our entire force and we are grateful for this chance to sharpen our combat skills."
The 510 FS will also participate in a series of training opportunities to include Green Flag, weapons school support, 422 Integration, Basic Surface Attack Training, and High Angle-of-Attack Training.
Once complete, the 555th Fighter Squadron will arrive to relieve the 510th "Buzzards" who will move on to Hill AFB
, Utah, for two weeks of additional training for maintenance crews.