Red Flag 24-2: Advancing F-35 interoperability at Nellis

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Red Flag 24-2: Advancing F-35 interoperability at Nellis

Story by Nellis Air Force Base 

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Nellis welcomes more than 1,500 participants from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Air National Guard and the Royal Netherlands Air Force for Red Flag-Nellis 24-2 from March 10-23.

Red Flag is a large-force exercise during which the 414th Combat Training Squadron designs complex scenarios designed to elevate air combat skills for the 15 participating units’ diverse set of aircraft, including the RNLAF’s F-35 Lightning II. 

"Red Flag-Nellis is a pivotal exercise for fostering F-35 interoperability on an international scale,” said Col. Eric Winterbottom, 414th CTS commander. “It forges bonds and strategies for seamless cooperation among our diverse airframes, emphasizing the importance of interoperability in modern warfare."

"The F-35 has been one of the most effective integration tools for NATO since the end of the Cold War."

Gen. James Hecker, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander


The integration of fifth-generation assets in Europe play a crucial role in building a credible and robust deterrent posture. The objective is for any F-35, regardless of the owning nation, to land at any F-35 base to refuel, repair, rearm and return to the fight.

Red Flag-Nellis 24-2 introduces complex target areas, camouflage techniques and realistic scenarios focused on the European theater. The 64th, 65th, and 706th Aggressor Squadrons refine threat replication with advanced advisory air capabilities, intensifying training in contested environments.

The 366th Fighter Wing from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho will serve as the core wing for this iteration of Red Flag. Both, F-35 and F-15 aircraft, will participate as blue forces. The 56th Wing from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, will bring F-16 Top Aces, a private ADAIR service contractor, to provide adversary support.