For a second time, S&K was charged with providing logistics support to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) during RED FLAG/GREEN FLAG Operations. RED FLAG is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies. Training takes place at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, and is conducted on the vast bombing and gunnery ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Range. It is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the United States Air Force Warfare Center and Nellis AFB through the 414th Combat Training Squadron.1 While RED FLAG is predominately Air-to-Air operations, GREEN FLAG is an air-land integration combat training exercise. GREEN FLAG is primarily conducted in conjunction with US Army Combat Training Center exercises at Ft Irwin, CA.
The S&K Project Manager, Matthew Hellrung, has participated in every RSAF RED FLAG/GREEN FLAG since 2005, and several of our temporary employees have supported this effort multiple times. Depending on the year, the RSAF will bring 175-210 members to these realistic combat exercises. The RSAF deployment package includes eight F-15S aircraft with pilots, weapon systems officers, and maintenance personnel. The majority of this year’s participants were from the RSAF 55th Squadron, King Khalid Air Base, Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia.
Aircraft and personnel deploy to Nellis for RED FLAG under the Air Expeditionary Force concept and make up the exercise’s “Blue” forces. By working together, these Blue forces execute specific missions, such as air interdiction, combat search and rescue, close air support, dynamic targeting and defensive counter air. These forces use various tactics to attack targets such as mock airfields, vehicle convoys, tanks, parked aircraft, bunkered defensive positions and missile sites. The targets are defended by a variety of simulated “Red” force ground and air threats to give participant aircrews the most realistic combat training possible (Source 1).
On February 16, 2014, four of eight F-15S Strike Eagles from Saudi Arabia arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. on a Nellis runway. The other four scheduled to participate in the six-week RED FLAG/GREEN FLAG air combat training exercises were delayed by winter weather on the East Coast. To ferry the aircraft from Saudi Arabia to Nellis AFB, the RSAF use air-to-air refueling and made two enroute stops at Moron AFB, Spain and at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. During this year’s exercise deployment, the RSAF provided air-to-air refueling with their newly acquired Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. During the deployment of aircraft including the MRTT, S&K provided logistics support at each stop, including lodging, meals, transportation and other logistics support as required.
The Commander of the RSAF, Gen Fayyadh bin Hamid bin Ragad Al-Ruwaili, made an inspection tour of the RSAF group participating in the exercise. During the visit, Gen Al-Ruwaili was briefed on the RED FLAG/GREEN FLAG exercise and its importance in developing the capabilities of his pilots and aircrew. Gen Al-Ruwaili concluded his tour by visiting the RED FLAG Command building and the offices and lodging of the RSAF personnel participating in the exercise. The tour also included a stop at the S&K Operations Center which was manned 24/7 by S&K personnel in support of the RSAF.
The S&K personnel supporting the RSAF during the exercises are a mixture of temporary and permanent employees. The experienced team consists of approximately 45 personnel that support all of the RSAF logistics requirements including lodging, transportation, catering, medical care, communications, airfield support, VIP Visits, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation events.
Here is an excellent video of the RSAF participation in the 2012 RED FLAG exercises:
Source 1: U.S. Air Force Red Flag Fact Sheet. http://www.nellis.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=19160