The 705th Combat Training Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., home to the Distributed Mission Operations Center, has a mission to develop, integrate and deliver capabilities and training to prepare warfighters for combat in Joint and Coalition environments. From 9-20 Sept., the 705th CTS hosted Exercise Coalition Virtual Flag 19-4.
The exercise was expected to train over 450 joint and coalition warfighters located at 23 sites and three different continents.
“Coalition Virtual Flag is a theater-level exercise that is conducted in a simulated virtual reality world so that we can practice techniques, procedures and tactics all the way from the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to the Joint Force Air Component Commander providing that flow of communication from the operational to a tactical level,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Angela Messing, 705th CTS commander. “It takes place in a virtual and simulated world with environment generators that replicates the exact threats that we are facing.”
The synthetic battlespace used numerous simulators and networks to connect to 88 systems and 23 sites around the world, synchronizing multi-domain DOD weapon systems along with Coalition partners including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“Today’s warfighter needs to be ready to take on any challenge; now and into the future,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ian Drain, 705th CTS project officer. “We have limited resources and a limited budget to do that. We value any chance that we have to exercise with our Coalition partners and this facility pioneers the way we do that, by allowing the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada to virtually exercise together.”
Exercise CVF 19-4 is the largest Virtual Flag exercise to date, with the most participants ever hosted at the DMOC. The participants were presented with a contemporary multi-domain threat where exercise participants had to think through difficult problem sets, including several that the Chief of Staff of the Air Force has challenged the U.S. Air Force to address.
“This one is unique,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Linn Post, 705 CTS director of operations. “We have developed an entirely new scenario for our participants. It encompasses legacy and near-peer threats, tougher problem sets to work through and a mind shift change to find solutions.”
Since its infancy, CVF has improved to help advance the modern warfighter.
“Virtual Flag has come such a long way, even in just the past five years,” said Post. “Not only from the hardware and software that we have here in the DMOC to provide the most realistic and relevant training environment for the participants, but also in the way we develop the scenarios.”