HomeNewsArticle Display

Aggressors add realism to William Tell

OVER TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., flies as an aggressor during Exercise William Tell 2004.  The pilot is assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr.)

OVER TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., flies as an aggressor during Exercise William Tell 2004. The pilot is assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr.)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Russian on your tail, Russian on your wingman, and you have got only one missile remaining. What should you do?

You should be thankful they are just flying out of Nevada to give you a taste of worldwide flying tactics, that is what.

Pilots of the 64th Aggressor Squadron out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., are flying profiles against the five competing teams at William Tell 2004 simulating enemy air-to-air tactics for the competition.

This is the first year the squadron has participated in William Tell, and Lt. Col. Paul Huffman said this might be a future trend.

“The aggressors are charged to be the professional adversaries,” said the squadron’s commander. “We study all potential threat tactics, sending pilots to different (countries) around the world to keep updated on tactical information worldwide.”

During American military exercises, “blue” refers to allied forces, and “red” refers to enemy forces. Red forces during standard training are often simulated, but in larger exercises and weapons meets, such as William Tell and Red Flag, the 64th AGS pilots add professional reality to the flight.

“The aggressors always provide realistic enemy tactics,” said Capt. Dan Arkema, a pilot on the U.S. Air Force in Europe team. “It’s always challenging and really makes you bring out your A-game.”

Colonel Huffman explained how the pilots work closely with intelligence units worldwide to stay abreast on information like foreign pilots’ flying hours and basic flight standards in tactics and strategy.

“My main purpose is to go out and show the Air Force what an adversary would do, only I’m doing it through an F-16 [Fighting Falcon],” said Capt. Tyrone Douglas, a pilot who has been with the squadron for five months. “I’m making sure I’m replicating the threat I’m supposed to, giving the blue team a clean example of foreign tactics.”

“All of our pilots and maintainers are highly experienced -- many of them are instructors,” Colonel Huffman said. “We’re able to hand pick those who apply to become an aggressor.”

Having flown missions during William Tell 2004, Colonel Huffman and his pilots work hard to maintain their foreign tactical mind-set for each team they fly against.

“We want to be consistent and give (competitors) the same simulation for each and every team,” he said.

Colonel Huffman said that the aggressors are providing the competitors with scenarios that are well developed in tactics and threats. They avoid being too hard or too easy, and they give the blue teams “a solvable, but challenging problem.”

“It’s a great opportunity to fly up against red-style pilots,” said Capt. Chad Spellman, of the Air Education and Training Command team. “Being exclusively an air-to-air exercise, it’s a great chance for us to hone our air-to-air tactical skills.”


Facebook Twitter
Sleep tight. We work nights. A1C Donald Edwards, crew chief, inspects a C-17A Globemaster III at Joint Base Charl… https://t.co/pawAK7TUn7
RT @SecAFOfficial: Appreciate your leadership & time spent with our #Airmen who stand the watch! https://t.co/IAV7nIZCcX
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: A @usairforce HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 56th Rescue Squadron flies over #Aviano AB, Italy, Feb. 12. The 56th in…
Congratulations to Col. Terrence Adams who was recognized with the Military Service Award at the 34th Black Enginee… https://t.co/HYj7JhZfDg
RT @USAF_ACC: Happy #WarthogWednesday from the @A10DemoTeam 🐗🤙 #USAF 🎥 by Tech Sgt. Eric Flores | @usairforce | #AimHigh https://t.co/Zeq6…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: The @USAirForce air refueling fleet is the backbone of rapid U.S. global operations. “Tankers” are the lifeblood of our Jo…
The 332nd explosive ordinance team safely verified that a suspicious package was not a threat to any Airmen or faci… https://t.co/DJrFBsoz9F
RT @AETCommand: #PilotTraining - 2nd Lt. Joshua Harms preflights a T-38C Talon prior to a training sortie Feb. 11, 2020 at Vance AFB, Okla.…
RT @US_Stratcom: #DYK becoming a @usairforce #B2 pilot is a highly selective process? Regardless of the type of mission, those who fly the…
Airmen from the Ohio @AirNatlGuard, 180th Fighter Wing, are participating in exercise Green Flag-West at @NellisAFBhttps://t.co/5q6MEi4uew
These Airmen are making sure the F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 480th Fighter Squadron are ready for each day train… https://t.co/LOAxoraDX8
RT @SecAFOfficial: Spent time with the men & women of Incirlik Air Base @39_ABW, Turkey 🇹🇷, to thank them for their dedication, service, &…
RT @AirNatlGuard: Training and repetition is key to being #AlwaysReady Exercises like #SouthernStrike2020 allow our Airmen to work with tot…
Over 100 aircraft are flying over the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micr… https://t.co/XwsxbIXET9
RT @PACAF: Gen. CQ Brown Jr. met w/ allies & partners from across the Indo-Pacific & beyond @SGAirshow to showcase U.S. commitment & discus…
Good luck to all the drivers in today's #Daytona500, but we may be a bit biased on who we want to win it all.… https://t.co/PDLqBdl39X
Thanks for a great game @LAKings and @Avalanche. #ICYMI the @NHL Stadium series made a stop at the @AF_academy las… https://t.co/VyNsvpQM6o
RT @Creech_AFB: Singapore Airshow has been flying by (🥁-tss) meeting with international friends & partners! Repub. of Singapore Air Force…
Our own TSgt Nalani Quintello, vocalist with @USAFBand Max Impact, will perform the National Anthem prior to the 62… https://t.co/Asf5dTlXU8
RT @SecAFOfficial: Valuable hands-on experience @RAFMildenhall! Grateful to meet innovative #Airmen executing complex missions around the w…