New Delhi, Aug 11 : The tough and prestigious Red Flag exercise formally began at Air Force Base Nellis, Nevada USA on Sunday with inaugural briefings and mission planning by participating Air Forces.
The Red Flag 08 has the participation of IAF with eight Su-30s, two IL-78 tankers an IL-76 aircraft and 247 Air Warriors along with the French Air Force with Rafale, South Korean Air Force with F-15s and US AF with F-15s and F-16s. IAF and other visiting Air Forces along with a large USAF element would be part of the Blue Forces (friendly) which would engage in combat with the Red Forces.
The Red Forces are the "Aggressors" with F-15s and F-16s aircraft of 64th and 65th Aggressor squadrons of USAF based at Air Force Base Nellis.
Exercise Red Flag provides a realistic war situation in which the Blue Force pilots will have all possible odds thrown at them. Availability of a large air to air range with threat replication contributes to the tremendous training value of the exercise.
The replication of the air war would see the IAF's Su-30 aircraft participating in suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) air to air and air to ground missions. The IL-78 tankers and USAF AWACS would be in active support role. The IL-76 would undertake tactical transport operations and large force engagements operations.
During the exercise a Red Flag team will be form the White Force' to use high tech instrumentation and mission debrief tools to evaluate the performance of participants in a clinical and detached manner.
The Blue force will be made to change their plans often to put them under pressure. The White Force will watch the entire exercise in real time on monitor screens on the ground. Kill removal (removal of the pilots and aircraft assumed shot by the enemy) makes the exercise more realistic.