F-22 Raptors, other aircraft team for full-spectrum readiness exercise
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. A contingent of F-22 Raptor fighter jets from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, have joined combat air forces from across the nation at Nellis AFB for the joint, full-spectrum readiness exercise Red Flag 17-3. Department of Defense (DoD) officials say that the exercise facilitates readiness training on a higher level, as each unit brings specific expertise and talents to the table; Red Flag exercises teach them to work together as they would in the field, possibly for the first time, before facing an actual threat.
The DoD reports that 10 F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron have joined the exercise alongside Marine Corps F-35B and Air Force F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighters, marking the first time in Red Flag history that both variants of F-35 will take part in the exercise. The F-35B is the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version of the jet, while the F-35A has conventional takeoff and landing capabilities.
Additional aircraft such as B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control aircraft, F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, and others will be featured during Red Flag 17-3, with each playing an important role in the exercise theater, DoD officials say.