Red Flag 19-3: Maintaining air superiority through teamwork

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath lands at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., for Red Flag 19-3. Red Flag provides aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties in the safety of a training environment. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Julian W. Kemper)

Southern Nevada residents may notice an increase in military aircraft activity from July 15 through Aug. 2 as Nellis Air Force Base begins Red Flag 19-3, one of the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat training exercises.

Red Flag exercises provide mission commanders, maintenance personnel, ground controllers, and air, space and cyber operators the opportunity to experience realistic combat scenarios to prepare for future warfare.

The goal of Red Flag 19-3 is to prioritize “first timers’” combat missions, mission commander upgrades and Flag unique experiences for all participants.

“Red Flag began as an air-to-air fight, but it’s evolved into a multi-domain conflict to make sure America’s warfighters from across the Services are ready for tomorrow’s fight,” said Col. Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “Air, Space, Cyber and Command and Control forces come together in our training environment here at Nellis to ensure that when our nation calls, we can meet and beat our adversaries.”

Cpl. J.D. Harden, an aviation mechanic assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., performs pre-flight checks on a F-35B Lightning II fighter jet on the flighline at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 15, 2019. Harden and his squadron are assigned the role of strike for Red Flag 19-3 at Nellis. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

This iteration of Red Flag includes participants from various services, including the Royal Australian Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines.

Linking participants through teamwork-enforced activities provides a more adaptable force.

Red Flag ensures combat air forces are ready to win the nation’s wars and builds partnerships and interoperability among allies and across multiple domains.

Since its establishment in 1975, Red Flag has provided training for more than 506,000 military personnel, including members of approximately 29 allied countries’ air forces, through various exercise scenarios over the skies of the Nevada Test and Training Range.