Air Combat Command has appropriated the old electronic warfare exercise dubbed Green Flag and coupled it with the close air support Air Warrior to produce the new Green Flag West (Nellis AFB, Nev.) and Green Flag East (Barksdale AFB, La.). ACC’s Joint Air to Ground Operations Group at Nellis has designed the new Green Flags to provide predeployment training for airmen who perform close air support and precision guided munitions delivery missions. The new exercises emphasize “integration with the Army maneuver units across a broad spectrum of activity, with special emphasis on counterinsurgency and irregular warfare,” said Lt. Col. Phil Barks, who as 549th combat training squadron commander at Nellis hosts Green Flag West. Air Force Warfare Center commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein created the 561st Joint Tactics Squadron at Nellis last week to integrate the new tactics and schedule deployment rotations, meshing them with completion of Green Flag.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.