Green Flag stresses realistic training with more than 75 aircraft flying in a variety of combat scenarios. This training prepares U.S. forces to fight in a high-tech combat environment while providing Air Force leaders valuable planning experience. Unlike other Nellis flying exercises, which primarily focus on training for aircrew members, the Green Flag exercise focuses on electronic combat training. The exercise is where aircrews, intelligence and Air Operations Center people receive training. When properly applied, electronic combat can increase combat effectiveness.
Since the late 1970s, Green Flag exercises over the desert mountain ranges of Nevada have helped thousands of aircrews from every branch of the military and different countries around the world master their aerial combat skills.
The main mission of Green Flag was to prepare pilots to fight in a combined air, ground and electronic threat environment. One of the biggest lessons learned during the Vietnam War was that if pilots can survive their first seven combat sorties, their chances of survival during a conflict significantly increases. With that mentality, the Green Flag exercise and similar exercises held here help get the pilots through those first seven missions in a simulated combat environment.
Nellis Air Force Base hosted Green Flag 98-2, a large-scale, electronic warfare exercise. This will be the first flag exercise that included actual Scud missile systems as targets. The exercise gave participants a chance to work on refining the process for timely location, targeting and destruction of Scud missile systems. Besides U.S. forces, more than 700 people from Spain, Singapore, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom participated in the exercise. The exercise started March 21 and continued through April 18.
Green Flag 00-4, the last ever, was also the first training exercise program to test the Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses program initiated by the Department of Defense. The JSEAD premise has been used in other operations such as Operation Allied Force and Operations Northern and Southern Watch, but this is the first time it has been used in a controlled environment to test and evaluate its efficiency. During the JSEAD portion of the exercise, held the last two weeks of the six-week combat training, F-15E Strike Eagle crews incorporated the aerial skills they had learned during the first four weeks and added in the threat and mission of destroying surface-to-air missile sites.
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