What is “Black Flag”? Inside the USAF’s newest major exercise

The service said that while Red Flag is designed “to train like we fight, Black Flag allows the Air Force to test like we fight”

The U.S. Air Force has just signed off on a new flag exercise that brings together large weapons and capabilities under one comprehensive test event.

Air Combat Command’s Gen. Mark Kelly earlier this month authorized “Black Flag,” a tactics and integration exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the service said in a release.

“Black Flag accelerates months of work and combines it into a high-end, large force testing event,” Kelly said in the release. “Because combat is large force employment, test must also include large force employment.”

The service said that while Red Flag is designed “to train like we fight, Black Flag allows the Air Force to test like we fight”.

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Red Flag is an integrated, multi-force training exercise within a simulated combat environment held at Nellis. The exercise, established in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War, brings together a variety of aircraft – bombers, fighters, electronic, cargo and reconnaissance aircraft and others – to practice and coordinate for air-to-air and surface-to-air defense, command and control, intelligence gathering and strike operations.

Read more: Military