The tough and prestigious Exercise red flag formally began at Air Force Base Nellis, Nevada USA on 10 Aug 08 with inaugural briefings amp; mission planning by the participating Air Forces. 09 Aug was the day of lead in preparations. This was the first Indian participation at Red /br /The Red Flag 08 has the participation of IAF with eight Su-30s, two IL-78 tankers an IL-76 aircraft amp; 247 Air Warriors along with the French Air Force with Rafale, South Korean Air Force with F-15s amp; US AF with F-15s amp; F-16s. IAF amp; 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 amp; F-16s aircraft of 64th amp; 65th Aggressor squadrons of USAF based at Air Force Base /br /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 amp; 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 amp; large force engagements /br /During the exercise a set of Red Flag team forms the `white Force’ amp; use high tech instrumentation and mission debrief tools to evaluate the performance of the participants in a clinical and detached manner. During the exercise the Blue force are made to change their plans often to put them under pressure. The White Force watches the entire exercise in real time on monitor screens on ground. Kill removal (removal of the pilots and aircraft assumed shot by the enemy) makes the exercise more /br /Addressing the participating Air Warriors, contingent commander Gp Capt D Choudhury said” we have trained long amp; hard for this day. It is the time to show case our professionalism. I have total faith amp; confidence in you. The world is watching us, so gentlemen lets show them what we are made up of.”

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