Report by: Thierry LETELLIER
In 1975, Red Flag air-to-air exercises started. Then in 1990, the Air Warrior (Green Flag), air-to-ground training mission moved to Nellis AFB. Units at Nellis continue to provide training for composite strike forces that include every type of aircraft in the U.S. Air Force, along with air and ground units of the Army, Navy, Marines and air units from allied nations. Nellis is also responsible for operational tests, evaluations, and tactics development.
The 57th Wing is the operational element of the centre. The major units are the 57th Operations Group, 57th Maintenance Group, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (The Thunderbirds), U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Air Ground Operations School, the Warrior Prep School, 414th Combat Training Squadron (Red Flag), 547th Intelligence Squadron and the 549th Combat Training Squadron (Green Flag). Other USAFWC units at Nellis AFB are the 99th Air Base Wing and 98th Range Wing, along with the 53d Test & Evaluation Group (53d Wing, Eglin AFB, FL.) and 505th Operations Group (505th Command & Control Wing, Hurlburt Field, FL).The 98th Range Wing is responsible for the Nevada Test and Training Range(NTTR)
57th Adversary Tactics Group (ATG) were formed in 2005 to combine ‘The Aggressors’ providing pilots with realistic combat air training scenarios. The 57th ATG currently consists of two airborne squadrons; the 64th AGRS operating F-16C/D variants and the 65th AGRS operating the F-15C/D. Nellis AFB the headquarters of the USAF Weapons School, also wearing tail code “WA” the WPS operates from 7 locations with a variety of aircraft, providing advanced weapons and tactics training. Squadrons presently stationed at Nellis are:16th WPS – F-16C/D . 17th WPS – F-15E . 34th WPS – HH-60G/U . 66th WPS – A-10C . 433rd WPS – F-15C/D.The WPS further operates C-130, C-17, B-1, B-2, B-52 and KC-135 aircraft from its remote locations.
Directly dependent of to the Air Combat Command the 53rd Wing Test and Evaluation Group provide comprehensive operational tests of future technology as well as modification and certification before new equipment is implemented. The wing at NELLIS AFB is operating A-10C, F-15C/D/E, F-16C/D and F-22A aircraft. All aircraft are depending from 422nd TES/53rd TEG and carrying the “OT” tail code.
Red Flag 2012/2 began on 23rd January and ended on 3rd February. Were hosted in NELLIS AFB, those aircraft from the folowing units : B-1B 28 BW – E-3B/C 552 ACW – F-15 C/D 104 FW [ MA ANG ] – F-15 C/D 159 FW [ LA ANG ] – F-15 K 11FW / 110 FS [ ROKAF ] – F-15 S 92 SQN [ RSAF ] – F-16 C/D 64 AGRS – F-15 C/D 65 AGRS – F-16 CM/DM 388 FW [ HILL AFB – UT ] – F-16 CM/DM 416 FLTS [ EDWARDS AFB – CA ]