Eglin AFB hosts Emerald Flag
By 1st. Lt. Karissa Rodriguez
/ Published December 03, 2020
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Emerald Flag, Eglin Air Force Base’s first native multi-domain test exercise, began Dec. 1 on the Eglin AFB Test and Training Range.
This inaugural event brings more than 25 agencies to participate. It is a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter.
“The goal is to align DoD resources across the Florida Panhandle and enable multi-domain test and experimentation to prepare the warfighter for a 21st-century fight,” said Maj. Alexander Hillman, 45th Test Squadron.
The event incorporates ground, space, cyberspace and air platforms. The test connects those different platforms to improve the speed and flow of information.
Another large aspect of Emerald Flag is the integration of Eglin AFB’s “five Ws”: weapons, water, webs, widgets and warfighters, according to Hillman.
Weapons testing is part of the 96th Test Wing’s primary mission.
Water is a unique Eglin AFB capability that can be utilized in missions on the Eglin Test and Training Range.
Webs is the battlespace of the 96th Cyberspace Test Group in their role in delivering cyberspace capabilities.
Widgets refer to development programs from the Air Force Research Laboratory seeking to exercise or demonstrate their progress in a realistic test environment.
Warfighters is a reference to the 53rd Wing’s operational test presence.
Eglin AFB has the unique capability of integrating across and amongst these “five Ws” and enabling a development environment for the agencies participating in Emerald Flag, according to Hillman.
This demonstration environment concept originated from within the 96th Test Wing and AFRL’s Munitions Directorate, the Armament Directorate and the 53d Wing were integral in shaping the event.
The exercise’s event planning began in the middle of the COVID-19 shutdown in March. The Emerald Flag event team judges success based on the number of unique multi-domain and interoperability test points conducted during testing.