Press Releases

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) visited Nellis Air Force Base to see the Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise known as Red Flag.

Red Flag prepares the Air Force for evolving enemy threats by providing air crews with simulated combat situations. The exercise is designed to maximize combat readiness, capability and survivability. 

“We must ensure that the Air Force has the resources and tools it needs to meet the challenges of our ever-changing world. Red Flag is a critical exercise that allows our nation’s aviators to prepare for combat and improve their readiness so they can accomplish their missions and return safely,” said Boozman, a co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus. “Our visit allowed us to see what the Air Force is doing to ensure it remains the leading air power in the world.” 

“Military readiness is invaluable to our national security, and I’m proud to support our Armed Forces to ensure they are well-prepared for combat,” said Cortez Masto. “Red Flag exercises not only prepare members of our military by providing realistic training, they also give them the opportunity to build relationships with our foreign allies by allowing foreign partners to participate in training exercises. Our military leaders play a crucial role in reinforcing our country’s diplomatic efforts through the credible threat of US military action. It is crucial that we provide them with the support and resources they need. I am proud to have joined my Senate colleagues to celebrate the dedicated men and women who protect our country right here in the Great State of Nevada.”

“The security threats our country faces are real,” Enzi said. “We need the people we depend on to protect us from those dangers to be prepared. This is some of the best training our women and men can get short of the real thing. I appreciate being able to see the Red-Flag training exercise first-hand.”

The exercise is conducted with all four U.S. military services and their guard and reserve components. The air forces of U.S. allies also participate in the Red Flag training. Since 1975, 28 countries have joined the U.S. in these exercises and several other countries have participated as observers. Red Flag has provided training for more than 440,000 military personnel, including more than 145,000 aircrew members flying more than 385,000 flights and logging more than 660,000 hours of flying time.

This mock battle in the skies over the Nevada Test and Training Range has yielded results that increase the combat capability of our Armed Forces for combat situations. 

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Gen. Mike Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis joined senators on the trip to demonstrate how the Air Force uses the resources provided by Congress to prepare for future combat missions.