Joining forces: Test team completes fourth Orange Flag of 2018

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Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

An F-35 and F-16 from Edwards Air Force Base are joined by an F-15E and F-22 from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., along with a Navy F-18 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31 out of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018.

In the skies above California, an F-35 and F-16 from Edwards Air Force Base in California are joined by an F-15E and F-22 from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., along with a Navy F-18 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31 out of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif.

The Orange Flag Evaluation Team executed its fourth successful event Dec. 13, 2018. Orange Flag, developed by the 412th Operations Group, evaluates teamwork across the sister services to integrate joint forces across a wide range of mission areas. The events enable the test community to capture data to assess the interoperability of multiple aircraft platforms in an environment outside of traditional Edwards testing.

A KC-10 Extender aerial refueling tanker from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., flies alongside an F-35 Lightning II from the 461st Flight Test Squadron as part of the fourth Orange Flag test event this year, Dec. 13, 2018.

“The latest event involved a total of 18 aircraft in six combat-relevant test tasks and experiments,” said Maj. Christopher Campbell, Air Force Test Center, Orange Flag Evaluation Director.

In addition to the fighters, B-52, B-2 and B-1 bombers participated along with KC-135 and KC-10 aerial refueling tankers.

Campbell said the team will analyze the data collected and apply it to develop new air power capabilities.