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By Maj. Meghan Smith
158th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen, aircraft and support equipment from the Vermont Air National Guard will begin departing on July 14, from the 158th Fighter Wing to train at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. This three-week exercise, known as Red Flag, provides pilots, aircrew and operators a realistic training environment to prepare them for any combat environment.
“This Red Flag will be the first time two F-35A squadrons have participated together. Other Air Force and Navy aircraft will also participate,” said Lt. Col. John MacRae, the 134th Fighter Squadron commander. “The significance of such a robust Air Superiority force is that this is the absolute best training anywhere in the world to prepare for night combat operations against a peer adversary.”
As military technology continues to advance in the 21st century battlespace, exercises like Red Flag provide combat-based scenarios that help prepare Airmen at a tactical level for real-world missions when deployed.
“We have prepared since the first F-35s arrived in Sept 2019,” said MacRae. “This Red Flag is our Wing’s capstone exercise to test our pilots and maintenance professionals’ ability to accomplish the mission.”
There will be no local F-35 flying operations from July 16, through Aug. 6. For additional information about the F-35, please visit www.vtguard.com/F-35.