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Creating a stronger coalition

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica H. Smith
  • 366 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Exercise Red Flag Nellis 17-4 served as an invaluable opportunity to the 428th Fighter Squadron of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, the host unit of the Singaporean detachment, Peace Carvin V.

The exercise provided an opportunity for aircrew, maintenance personnel, ground controllers and even space and cyber operators to train in advanced combat-like simulations within a controlled environment, thus furthering their ability to successfully complete real missions.

Valuable training in tactics wasn’t the only accomplishment during Red Flag, explained Capt. Chia Chi Yu, 428th FS weapons instructor. With aircraft including F-22s, F-16s and Royal Saudi AF Eurofighter Typhoons the 428th FS was able to lead a team and successfully accomplish their strike mission all while strengthening relationships and interoperability.

“There are several areas of training that we’re accomplishing; one of the biggest ones – arguably the biggest one – is the integration with coalition partners as well as our combined partners across the DoD,” said Capt. Heisman, chief of scheduling for the 94th FS at Langley AFB, Virginia.

Despite the variation in aircraft, military service and allied countries – from mission planning to execution and debrief, Red Flag places all the combat units together to learn from one another and better understand each other’s ways and techniques.

“Going through this training with other services and nations affords air and ground crews the opportunity to learn together and to understand and speak the same tactical language before actually going into combat together,” said Lt. Col. Mark Sadler, Red Flag deputy commander.

The training while very beneficial to the 428th FS, also demonstrates how strong of an ally Singapore is with other key players in the exercise.

“It’s not notional that we could be going into combat with them; it’s very real and we could be going into combat against a near peer adversary,” Heisman said, “Somebody who is very dangerous and is going to require a lot of combat air power and excellent teamwork to take on.”

If ever called upon, Red Flag participants will be more prepared for combined operations. Knowing one another’s capabilities and experiencing them in a training environment creates a more confident team for real-time missions.

“Our cross training together with the United States Air Force and Saudi Arabia this time around helps us understand one another better and improve our integration and interoperability,” said Lt. Col Kok Choon Oon, Peace Carvin V detachment commander. “Lastly, it allows us to benchmark our proficiency against some of the United States Air Force units as well.”