Science and Technology News

Monday, November 2, 2015

Space and Cyber Operators participate in Red Flag

by 1st Lt Sarah Burnett
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

11/2/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- More than 125 personnel from Air Force Space Command participated in Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, held July 13-31.

Red Flag, the Air Force's premiere Combat Air Forces level exercise, is designed to test the ability to integrate multi-domain effects in a highly contested, degraded, and operationally limited, simulated combat environment.

With this year's first Red Flag achieving an unprecedented level of success for space and cyber, AFSPC has stepped up their level of integration.

There was better integration and understanding of cyber, as exercise players quickly realized cyberspace is a domain that can have both kinetic and non-kinetic effects, said Col. Michael Angle, Chief of Training, Weapons and Tactics Division, Headquarters Air Force Space Command.

"We have slowly integrated ourselves into the exercise," said Lt. Col. Brian Capps, Chief of Exercises, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, "Now it's gotten to a point where the flying community understands that space and cyber play an integral part in the exercise and that they can't provide scenarios that are realistic without having us there and actively involved."

This year's third Red Flag saw several new initiatives for AFSPC personnel, which paid huge dividends during the exercise.  A group of young officers from the 21st Space Wing, 50th SW and 460th SW gained experience with mission planning while working alongside Airmen in the flying community.

"Some of the initiatives we kicked off were with the space side and getting our young CGOs involved in mission planning," Capps said. "(They went) from planning through execution of what space can provide during each exercise scenario."

Additionally, the level of Cyber presence also increased at Red Flag. Cyberspace experts were actively involved in mission planning as well as execution on the operations floor.

In previous years AFSPC sent subject matter experts on temporary duty to participate, but now AFSPC Airmen actively participate and contribute to the scenarios.

"It's good for the rest of our community to see what our members are doing to integrate into the larger Combat Air Force," Capps said.

Both space and cyber members gained invaluable training and experience on how to operate in a wartime Air Operations Center environment by performing mission planning and integrating their effects into the larger air campaign.

AFSPC is committed to ensuring the level of space and cyber support provided continues to grow.  Red Flag exercises enable AFSPC personnel by providing advanced training that will transform the Air Force culture to a multi-domain operational mindset.

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