USAF’s Red Flag 21-1 exercise involves space, cyberspace elements

Daily News Article   —   Posted on February 10, 2021

(by Ed Adamczyk, UPI) — A 19-day combat training exercise is underway at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., emphasizing space and cyberspace integration, the Air Force said on Monday.

One of the branch’s largest exercises, the annual event, this year known as Red Flag 21-1, includes the involvement of the Air Force, the U.S. Space Force, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command and the air forces of several allied nations.

“We’ve employed space electronic warfare capabilities that support full-spectrum national security objectives, along with offensive cyber capabilities across adversary data networks affecting that network’s ability to pass data or function properly,” said Capt. Kaylee Taylor of the 414th Combat Training Squadron.

Forces serve as adversaries in “red-team”/”blue-team” standoffs, with “white teams” as neutral players who steer exercises. GPS and satellite communications are used to recognize, counter and defeat threats.

“As a unit whose mission is to know, teach and replicate enemy threats — we support the USSF blue players who are currently pushing their individual missions forward in an effort to train expert Guardians [Space Force personnel],” said Maj. Scott Hollister, 26th SAS flight commander of Adversary Plans Flight.

“This includes teaching representatives from our joint and allied partners on how to employ specific tactics,” Hollister said.

About 2,400 participants are involved in the exercise, which began on Jan. 25 and will conclude on Feb. 12.

They comprise active-duty personnel and reservists from 20 states and three countries.

[“Red Flag gives participating units with different mission sets an opportunity to train together during a large-force, joint interoperability live-fly exercise,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Consigny, 414th CTS superintendent. “This experience provides our Combat Air Forces combat-ready squadrons that are prepared to integrate down range for today’s fight or any future near-peer conflict”].

Aircraft involved include the the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, EA-18G Growler, F-15E Strike Eagle and A-10 Thunderbolt II. The 509th Bomb Wing of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., is regarded as in the “lead wing” position.

In a concurrent exercise, Green Flag-West is underway at the U.S. Army Combat Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Led by the 57th Wing of the Air Force Warfare Center, the training involves air support of ground forces executing combat operations.

[“The 57th Wing is charged to provide world-class training to U.S. and allied aircrews year-round, COVID or not,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Drowley, 57th Wing commander. “Our team’s mission to prepare participants for the high-end fight and great power competition continues unabated, and we’re confident the months of coordination and logistical planning we’ve poured into both Flags will enable their effective, simultaneous success”].

Published at UPI on Feb. 8. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission.