The recent Red Flag Exercise 17-3 at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada gave aviation enthusiasts a glimpse of the future of air warfare with multiple F-35 and F-22 aircraft participating.
Held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the exercise featured for the first time both the Air Force and Marine Corps variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 and F-35As from the Air Force’s 58th Fighter Squadron converging to train with aircraft from more than 50 units across the Defense Department, including the Air Force’s other 5th-generation fighter, the F-22 Raptor.
“What we found with the F-35 is, it is a very flexible platform and we were able to do a lot of different mission sets, although our primary mission is the air-to-ground focus,” said Lt. Col. John Snyder, commander of the 58th Fighter Squadron. “We can do the air-to-air escort role, but the F-22 specifically is designed to dominate in that arena. So when we have F-22s here, that’s how we’re going to try to employ them.”
“The absolutely amazing thing about the F-35 aircraft is its ability to be flexible in all those mission sets,” he said. “It has a tremendous avionics suite … and we’ve been able to leverage that here in this very high-end training environment in order to essentially capitalize on those avionics capabilities there.” – DefenseTech
Featured image U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bucky Parrish