Red Flag-Nellis 22-3: The First Engagement of a Fifth-Generation Aggressor Force


According to an article written by 1st Lt Richard Caesar of the 57th Wing and published on July 20, 2002, “the future fight is here.”

The familiar roar of America’s airpower filled the skies over Las Vegas and the Nevada Test and Training Range, which signaled the start of another Red Flag exercise.

However, participants of this iteration found themselves facing unfamiliar opposition as the first, dedicated fifth-generation aggressor force took to the skies for Red Flag-Nellis 22-3.

More than 20 units and approximately 2,300 participants arrived at Nellis Air Force Base to take part in the final Red Flag of 2022. Greeting them were the pilots of the newly re-activated 65th Aggressor Squadron, and the 57th Operations Group’s dedicated multi-domain aggressor force.

In his welcoming remarks, the 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, Col. Jared Hutchinson described Red Flag-Nellis 22-3 as unlike any previous Red Flags before it.

“The Aggressor Nation will be unleashed as they refine threat replication, apply advanced threats and jamming capabilities, and increase threat capabilities to maximize training in non-permissive environments,” Hutchinson said. “The airspace is also much different with almost twice as much fight airspace and inclusion of neighboring airspace opportunities to optimize Blue and Red Force tactics.”