August 17, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Six F-16s from the Royal Danish Air Force are headed to the Nevada desert in the United States to participate in Red Flag, one of the most realistic training scenarios in the world for combat aircraft.
RDAF F-16BM #ET-614 has just taken off from Florennes AB on July 14th, 2005. It was stationed there to test the integration of the M4 software tape. [Photo by Ramon van Opdorp
When training sessions take place next Tuesday, pilots from around the world will take to the air to hone their skills. The exercise (05-1.2) gives Danish pilots the chance to test themselves in a number of combat simulations.
The Royal Air Force plans to use the opportunity to test new technical systems, such as the JDAM
precision bombs. The Royal Danish air force is in the process of upgrading its fleet of 61 F-16s, and the first eight aircraft are supposed to be equipped with operational satellite guided technology by now.
About Red Flag
Red Flags are war exercises that allow combat aircrews to train in the most realistic simulated war environment possible. Red Flags are not competitions between flying units, nor competitions between pilots.
Exercise participants come from flying units around the Air Force. Sometimes the Navy, Marines, Army and allied forces take part too. Every Red Flag exercise is made of 1, 2 or 3 periods. Each period is 2 weeks long.
At the end of each period, a whole new group of flying units arrives, and the last one leaves. Each period, we receive enough participants and aircraft to compose an AEF
size flying wing.
A Red Flag is conducted on the vast bombing and gunnery ranges at Nellis AFB
In a typical Red Flag exercise, Blue Forces (friendly) engage Red Forces (hostile) in combat situations. Blue Forces are made up of units from ACC
, Air Mobility Command (AMC), US Air Force
Europe, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF
), Air National Guard (ANG
), United States Air Force Reserves (USAFR), Army, Navy, Marine Corps and allied air forces. They are led by a Blue Forces commander who orchestrates the employment plan. Red Forces are composed of Red Flag's Adversary Tactics Division flying the F-16 and provides air threats through the emulation of enemy tactics.
They are often augmented by other U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps units flying in concert with electronic ground defenses, and communications and radar jamming equipment.