HomeNewsArticle Display

Success through total force integration at Red Flag 16-1

An F-22 Raptor from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is ready to taxi and take off during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis AFB, Nev. Tyndall’s F-22s brought a lot to the exercise as the jet’s stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, communication and sensory capabilities help augment the capabilities of the other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

An F-22 Raptor from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is ready to taxi and take off during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis AFB, Nev. Tyndall’s F-22s brought a lot to the exercise as the jet’s stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, communication and sensory capabilities help augment the capabilities of the other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

First Lt. Douglas Foss, a 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor pilot, goes through preflight procedures during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. More than 30 squadrons at Red Flag 16-1 worked together, some for the first time, training and preparing for a variety of possible threats. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

First Lt. Douglas Foss, a 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor pilot, goes through preflight procedures during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. More than 30 squadrons at Red Flag 16-1 worked together, some for the first time, training and preparing for a variety of possible threats. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

Four Airmen stand on the flightline looking toward the lights of Las Vegas Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Airmen were part of more than 3,000 personnel from over 30 units, including squadrons from Australia and the U.K., to participate in Red Flag 16-1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

Four Airmen stand on the flightline looking toward the lights of Las Vegas Jan. 26, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Airmen were part of more than 3,000 personnel from over 30 units, including squadrons from Australia and the U.K., to participate in Red Flag 16-1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Navy Airman Ryan Smith, a VAQ-138 plane captain stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., marshals in an EA-18G Growler during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 29, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Airmen were part of more than 3,000 personnel from over 30 units, including squadrons from Australia and the U.K., to participate in Red Flag 16-1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

A U.S. Navy Airman Ryan Smith, a VAQ-138 plane captain stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., marshals in an EA-18G Growler during Red Flag 16-1, Jan. 29, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Airmen were part of more than 3,000 personnel from over 30 units, including squadrons from Australia and the U.K., to participate in Red Flag 16-1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alex Fox Echols III)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- It’s a given that no aircraft leaves the ground unless it is working properly. But that maintenance challenge has been multiplied here during the three-week Red Flag 16-1 exercise.

With almost 80 aircraft taking off twice daily during Red Flag, hundreds of aircraft maintainers assigned to flying squadrons from around the world work long hours to ensure all training sorties are executed safely and efficiently.

"Anytime we take aircraft on the road we face challenges because we're away from our facilities and our normal lanes for parts and supplies," said Capt. Matthew Goldey, the 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge, stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. "This exercise is pretty accurate to what you would see downrange. This is about as real as it gets and this is how we fight."

Red Flag 16-1's training is centered on readiness through completing combat-realistic missions in a contested, degraded, operationally limited environment. Despite the challenges, the participating maintainers are managing to come together as a team to take care of daily maintenance operations and each other.

"There is no one out here saying, 'That's not my job.' Instead it's, 'What do you need? OK, let's get it done. This is broke? OK, let's fix it,'" said Master Sgt. Marc Neubert, the 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant from Tyndall AFB. "That is one of the coolest things that I have seen so far."

Red Flag brings diverse units and countries together from all over the world and across the services. One thing they all have in common is the need for experienced maintainers to take care of their fleets.

"It's a satisfying feeling to know that I'm part of a bigger picture and that I am making a difference," said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Christian Gonzalez, a VAQ-138 plane captain, stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. "I'm really enjoying learning the way the different branches do their maintenance and it's very interesting to see the different aircraft."

Total force integration is a key component of training during Red Flag 16-1. Goldey is a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer from the 44th Fighter Group at Tyndall AFB, but during the exercise, he is embedded in the 95th AMU as the officer in charge.

"We are one unit, and we are totally integrated," Goldey said. "There is no us and them anymore. We're all one team. We all wear the same uniform and we're all out here to accomplish the same mission."

There is a loss of knowledge and continuity when active-duty Airmen rotate from a base and new ones come in. The U.S. Air Force alleviates that problem through total force integration with the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

"A TFI unit brings continuity to the active-duty force," Goldey said. "Being in the Reserve you have the opportunity to hang around in a particular location longer than most active-duty members so we bring some continuity and experience to the fight."

While most maintainers are not working directly with the other units outside their organization, the augmentee Airmen fueling the aircraft for the exercise are the exception. They work with most of the units on the flightline.

"We have really good comradery with everyone," said Airman 1st Class Alexis Aragon, a 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, stationed at Dyess AFB, Texas. "Fuels is the lifeline of every aircraft, and without fuel these aircraft can't go anywhere. I love it because I know we're helping get the mission done, and I'm glad we augmentees could come out here from different bases to help do that."

During exercises like Red Flag, the maintainers are able to shed any weight they may carry during normal operations at their home base, like special duties and office work, and just concentrate on their main objectives.

"Our Airmen are killing it right now," Goldey said. "Out here on the flightline it's total mission focus; out here it's just about putting planes in the air. Anytime you get an opportunity to do that, it is great."

With the collaboration between military branches and multiple units from around the world along with the total force integration, the maintainers of Red Flag 16-1 know they have an entire flightline backing them up.

"I have learned here that you have to support one another," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, a 44th FG weapons loader. "You have to consistently do what you can to make sure everyone gets what they need to accomplish the mission."

Engage

Twitter
The two-week exercise is in tandem with the Polish air force near Powidz, Poland. #Partnership #ReadyAF https://t.co/oj2EPRUBSF
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC conducted an experiment known as Agile Flag 21-1 from Oct. 21-29 to test agile combat employment and a n… https://t.co/sZF2HgNUeI
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force will soon conduct focus groups with Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals abou… https://t.co/uPAlbUEYxt
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: For 50+ years, #MinutemanIII #ICBM fleet has underpinned our strategic force & played critical role in ensuring protect…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: Between Oct. 20 and 21, 2020, Iranian threat actors conducted an information operations campaign by sending emails, masquera…
Twitter
Ready day or night The 8th Fighter Wing at @KunsanAirBase stands ready to conduct counter-air, air interdiction,… https://t.co/8FzXyQPwFo
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Vice Chief of Space Operations tests positive for COVID-19 https://t.co/El9DBFkpAg
Twitter
Global reach Approximately 200 Airmen and four B-1B Lancer aircraft with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from… https://t.co/XdxCzteeGx
Twitter
Small business partnerships 🤝 @AFWERX is recommending more than 250 proposals as part of its X20D Small Business… https://t.co/vzVcj7Idfc
Twitter
Rapid strategic delivery 📦 The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for… https://t.co/WxSke8iXnG
Twitter
Fulfilling mission-critical requirements The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the #USAF a patent… https://t.co/wtf5K6NITn
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Looking forward to this dialogue today with Dr. Austin.
Twitter
Accelerating change Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing and 389th Fighter Squadron participate in Agile Flag 21-1 a… https://t.co/07r8CmEgl9
Twitter
Rolling out new tech The Air Force Civil Engineer Center made its first delivery of a new medium-size explosive or… https://t.co/Gj0PUVeQ6S
Twitter
#InnovativeAF @NASA representatives presented new medical diagnostic technology, the E-Nose Breathalyzer, which wi… https://t.co/mUzpASXPGm
Twitter
Pitstop ⛽️ A C-17 Globemaster pilot checks the alignment of a KC-135 Stratotankers aerial refueling boom. The flyi… https://t.co/ovgj9rh3uV
Twitter
The 23rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, will be the first to receive the new system.… https://t.co/UsQNUTdoNE
Twitter
New EOD robots are coming 🤖 Over the next 16-18 months, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center will deliver 333 high… https://t.co/wCmAo5GzDm
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: (3 of 3) What commercial #deeptech project should @usairforce and @SpaceForceDoD start next? What else should we consider? 🤔…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,298,539
Follow Us