The Russian Federation Air Force will be coming to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to participate in the US Air Force’s Red Flag (13-1) exercise. How the world has changed… This would have been absolutely unthinkable even a few years ago. It’s actually kinda bizarre now… But at the same time, kinda awesome.
The questions I have are: Will the Russians play the part of Red Air? It will certainly be interesting to see how the Russians react to the US interpretation of their tactics and doctrine… Also, I have to wonder how the Russian play-acting/dress-up the 64th and 65th Aggressors do will go over…
Anyways, here is an excerpt from the Voice of Russia article–they kinda buried the lede…
“In spring of 2012 it became known that the Russian Air Force is to participate in the Red Flag training exercise in the fall of 2012 together with Americans. From 8 until 19 of October, Red Flag Air Combat Exercise 13-1 will be held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada (the exercises are numbered in accordance with the fiscal years, and exercise in the fall will be number one in the 2013 fiscal year). Like India, who participated in the Red Flag several years earlier using its Russian-made SU-30 MKI, Russia will get a chance this year to test its aircraft in realistic combat maneuvers with USAF aircraft. This chance is very important, since up until now the only Russian aircraft of the fourth generation which fought in a real combat situation against western aircraft has been the MIG -29, but the possibility of deploying it in the conditions of very specific wars of 1991 and 1999 was limited. Under such circumstances, the chance to test modernized Russian aircraft such as the SU -27 SM, SU-30M2, MIG -29SM and other strike aircraft – despite simulations, they are still against real western aircraft and pilots – is too attractive to be miss out on.”
UPDATE: The USAF confirms the Russians are going to be attending Red Flag 13-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, this October.
Yes, The Russians will be participating in Red Flag 13-1.
Thanks for your interest in Nellis.
-Nellis Public Affairs”–email from 99th ABW/PA at Nellis AFB
UPDATE 2: Nellis PA was wrong–the USAF’s SAF and ACC PA are looking into how they could have screwed up so badly. Here is the correct statement that USAF HQ sent over:
“The Voice of Russia reporting is a complete fabrication. The Russian Air Force (RFAF) was supposed to observe RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 12-2, 6-14 Jun 12 but RFAF observation was cancelled due to reciprocity issues.
Instead, a RFAF one-star general participated in the Executive Observer Program at RF-A 14-19 Jun 12. RFAF participation at RED FLAG-Nellis was never considered and no further RFAF observation/participation in RF is planned at this time.”