Red Flag 2018-1

Red Flag 18-1

 

 

 

 

The 1st Flag for 2018 at Nellis AFB started from Jan 29th to Feb 16 2018. This flag have quite a good foreign participation including Royal Air Force no. 11 Squadron Typhoon FGR4, Voyager tanker and Royal Australian Air Force No. 6 Squadron, E/A-18G Growler Amberley Airbase.  For this time period, Colorado ANG 120th FS was running some operations with weapon school and we get to photograph them before and after the red flag launch. Here are the participants corresponding to their role for Red Flag 18-1.

Role Aircraft Home Base
Red Team Air F-16C
T-38C
64 Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV

435th FTS Randolph AFB, TX

Escort F-22A
F-15C
F-35A
F-16C
FGR4 Typhoon
1st Wing, 94th FS, Joint Base Langley, VA
142nd Fighter Wing, Portland ANG Base, OR
6th Weapons Squadron, Nellis, AFB, NV
134 Fighter Squadron, Vermont ANG, VT
No. 11 Squadron, RAF Coningsby, UK
Interdiction B-1B
F-15E
A-10
7th Bomb Wing, 9th Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX
4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson, AFB, NC
53rd Wing, 422nd TES, Nellis AFB, NV
SEAD F-16CG
F-16CM
EA-18G
EA-18G
31st FW, 510th Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy
20th FW, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC
VAQ-135 NAS, Whidbey Island, WA
No. 6 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley
Command & Control E-3G
E-7A
AP-3C Orion
Sentinel R1
963rd or 964th AACS, Tinker AFB, OK
No. 2 Squadron, RAAF Williamtown, NSW
No. 10 or 11 Squadron, RAAF Edinburgh
No. 5 Squadron, RAF Waddington, UK
Refueling KC-135
KC-135
A330 Voyager
92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, WA
100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, UK
RAF Brize Norton, United Kingdom
Search & Rescue HH-60G
HC-130J
55th RQS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
23rd Wing, Moody AFB, GA

There is also outside contractors doing red air including Draken flying the A-4k Skyhawk and L-129. Due to the accident on one of the Australian Air Force Growler during take off, We did not photograph any of the E/A-18G during our visit. They did resume flying after grounding for a week or more for investigations.

335th FS ” Chiefs”

Chiefs base out at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC flies the F-15E Strike Eagle doing the role of Interdiction.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
335th FS Chiefs 87-171 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 89-502 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 87-196 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 88-1676 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 88-1708 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 88-1683 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 89-471 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 88-1695 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 87-175 green tail fin SJ F15E
335th FS Chiefs 89-476 green tail fin SJ F15E
F-15e 335th FS Flex take off

55th FS Shaw AFB , SC

We always get Shaw F-16 participation in red flag. 18-1 is not exception with 55th FS coming in full force for the SEAD role.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
55th FS SW 96-084 no color on tail SW F16C
55th FS SW 91-384 mission markings SW F16C
55th FS SW 97-110 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
55th FS SW AF930550 55th FS tail SW F16C
55th FS SW 91-355 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
55th FS SW 93-546 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
55th FS SW 96-084 no color on tail SW F16C
55th FS SW 94-045 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
55th FS SW 93-532 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
55th FS SW 91-381 blue checker 55th FS SW F16C
77th FS 01-052 gamblers red tail SW F16C
77th FS 91-371 gamblers red tail SW F16C
55th FS SW AF030540 viper demo scheme SW F16C
55th FS F-16 recovery 1

Weapon School and Test and Evaluation Squadron

We caught quite a bit of traffic from USAF Weapon school and 422nd TES because they were participating training in Red flag 18-1 and also with Colorado ANG 120th FS. Some of the F-35A I did not get the full serial number below.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
433rd WS 83-027 WA F15C
422nd TES 83-026 OT F15C
422nd TES 12-5051 USAF WC OT F35A
422nd TES 12-5053 OT F35A
66TH WS 5082 WA F35A
5138 F35A
66TH WS 5142 WA F35A
433RD WS 83-037 WA F15C
433RD WS 83-019 WA F15C
66TH WS 5067 USAF WC WA F35A
66TH WS 5089 WA F35A
66TH WS 5119 WA F35A
422nd TES 5070 OT F35A
66TH WS 79-186 WA A-10C
66TH WS 78-671 WA A-10C
422ND TES 91-325 OT F15E
422ND TES 97-217 OT F15E
422ND TES 90-256 OT F15E
Weapon school F15C

120th FS  Colorado ANG

We were fortunate to photograph a few of the Colorado F-16C going up with weapon school, 422nd TES and Hill F-16

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
120TH FS CO ANG 86-368 CO F16C
120TH FS CO ANG 86-338 CO F16C
120TH FS CO ANG 87-241 CO F16C
120TH FS CO ANG 88-401 CO F16C
120th FS F-16 1

134th FS Vermont ANG, Green Mountain Boys

Vermont F-16 was flying their early Blk 30 F-16C.  Most notable came from their 70th Anniversary Aircraft painted with a Green Tail.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
134TH FS VT ANG 86-046 VT F16D
134TH FS VT ANG 87-322 VT F16C
134TH FS VT ANG 86-336 70TH ANNIVERSARY VT F16C
134TH FS VT ANG 87-326 VT F16C
134TH FS VT ANG 86-288 VT F16C
134TH FS VT ANG 86-365 VT F16C
134TH FS VT ANG 87-312 VT F16C
134th FS vermont F-16 1

 142nd FW ” Red Hawks” Oregon ANG

I overheard that some of the 142nd F-15C was use in “Red Air” but I could not get confirmation for this Flag. Oregon F-15C having those red hawks logo in the F15 tail makes them quite unique.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
142ND FW OREGON ANG 80-024 F15C
142ND FW OREGON ANG 85-106 F15C
142ND FW OREGON ANG 84-021 F15C
142ND FW OREGON ANG 84-003 F15C
142ND FW OREGON ANG 82-016 F15C
142nd FW F-15C from Oregon ANG

 

 

 

 

 

94th FS “Hat in the Ring”

94thFS F22A 1

 

 

 

 

VAQ-135 Black Ravens

US Navy sent in their “electronic ” specialist EA-18G growler for this flag. Black Raven is base at NAS Whibey Island , WA, callsign Thunder. For 2018, VAQ135 CAG bird got a new paint job and here we have it.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
VAQ135 BLACK RAVENS 524-168938 NL E/A-18G
VAQ135 BLACK RAVENS 523-168935 NL E/A-18G
VAQ135 BLACK RAVENS 520-16837 COLORBIRD NL E/A-18G
vaq135 ea-18g 1 cag bird

 

 

 

 

 

11 Squadron RAF

11 or XI Squadron is one of the oldest RAF squadron. She was deactivated back in 2005 flying  the Tornado F3 interceptor. 2006 she was reactivated flying the Typhoon.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
RAF 11TH SQUADRON ZK354 FGR4
RAF 11TH SQUADRON ZK313 FGR4
RAF 11TH SQUADRON ZK318 SQUADRON BADGE FGR4
RAF 11TH SQUADRON ZK364 FGR4
typhoon fgr4 red flag 18-1 1

 

 

 

 

 

Red Air 64th Aggressors

64th Aggressors is the only “Aggressor Asset” based out of Nellis. As of 2018, USAF is also contracting outside Adversary air assets like Draken.  2018 spot a few new camouflage schemes in the F-16C 64th is flying.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
64TH AGGRESSORS 83-159 BLUE WHITE SPLINTER WA F16C
64TH AGGRESSORS 86-299 LIZARD WA F16C
64TH AGGRESSORS 85-418 BLUE SPLINTER 57ATG WA F16C
64TH AGGRESSORS 84-220 DESERT WA F16C
64TH AGGRESSORS 87-321 SHARK WA F16C
64TH AGGRESSORS 86-280 DARK GREY WA F16C
64th Aggressor flex launch 1

Draken International

Draken International, Inc. is a provider of tactical fighter aircraft for contract air services including military and contract customers. For red flag 18-1 we caught A-4 and L129 flying “Red Air” with the local 64th Aggressors.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
Draken N266EM L129
Draken N265EM L129
Draken N145EM A-4K
Draken N264EM L129
Draken N257EM L129
Draken N258EM L129
Draken N284EM L129
Draken N283EM L129
draken A-4k -1

 

 

 

 

425th FTS

This is one of the flag that we see T-38C posing as “Red Air”. We spot a number of T-38 doing Flex launch just like the Aggressors.

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
435TH FTS 68-201 RA T38C
435TH FTS 67-844 RA T38C
435TH FTS 68-195 RA T38C
435th FTS launch

Heavies!

Our last section covers all the Heavies that was involved in Red Flag 18-1. This include 7th Bomber Wing, B-1B Dyess AFB, TX, 963rd and 964th AACS ” AWACS” E-3G from Tinker AFB, all tanker units

Unit Serial Special markings Tailcode TYPE
7th Bomb Wing, 9th Squadron 85-124 DY B1B
7th Bomb Wing, 9th Squadron 85-087 DY B1B
963rd or 964th AACS 80-0137 E3G
100TH ARW RAF MILDENHALL 37999 KC135
22ND ARW McCONNEL 23554 KC135
RAF ZZ335 KC2
43RD AW 11-725 FT KC-130J
c-130J flex tae off 1

Overall a very special Flag Exercise 18-1 gives us. Mainly we get 2 traffic during the Exercise and also the foreign participation. I still felt a little disappointing not able to catch the Royal Australian Air Force E/A-18G Growler.

 

Article and Photographs by Dave Chng