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Joint Red Flag 2005 kicks off at Nellis

by Staff Sgt. Allen Puckett
Joint Red Flag Joint Information Bureau

3/17/2005 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFPN)  -- More than 10,000 servicemembers from all four military branches, along with troops of some coalition forces kicked off Joint Red Flag 2005 March 14.

The goal of the training exercise, which is scheduled to end April 2, is to develop improved joint training and experimentation capabilities.

"Basically, we're here to enhance operational and tactical effectiveness through joint integrated training," said Lt. Col. Jim Murray, 12th Air Force project officer. "It allows us to prepare for real-world situations in a safe environment, as opposed to operations like Allied Force, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, where the first chance we had to get together with the other services and work the integration was on the battlefield."

To achieve these goals, joint task force officials will use command and control devices to receive and respond to simulated events while tracking and modifying their plans as necessary.

"Our simulation technology is a great way to achieve realistic-joint training while minimizing the need for people, resources and money, which benefits our taxpayers in the long run," said Maj. Gen. Floyd C. Williams, mobilization assistant to the 12th Air Force commander and the exercise combat forces air component commander.

The exercise results also will produce recommendations for current doctrine, organization, training material, people and facilities to maximize use of existing weapons systems to a new set of doctrine, organizational and training principles, officials said.

This exercise will be very helpful in assisting U.S. servicemembers in real-world situations, said Lt. Col. Tom Doster, an event planner with U.S. Joint Forces Command.

"When you have a new capability, you have to test it in as realistic a situation as you can to see if it'll work," Colonel Doster said. "Maybe it works great in a dust-free air-conditioned lab, but it may not work for a squad in the field."

Overall, participants in the exercise are anxious to see the results of all of their hard work, Colonel Murray said.

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