Home Air UK F-35Bs head to US for their first Red Flag exercise

UK F-35Bs head to US for their first Red Flag exercise

Photo: Royal Air Force

F-35B Lightning aircraft from the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron set off from RAF Marham on January 22 to start a transatlantic flight ahead of the start of exercise Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The jets will initially land back at their former home at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina before continuing their journey to Nellis Air Force Base and their first Red Flag exercise.

The UK received its first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft in June 2018 when the first four stealth fighter jets landed at RAF Marham.

Red Flag is a multi-national combat training exercise which is conducted on the bombing ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Area. This will be the first time that the UK’s F-35 Lightnings will have taken part in the drill.

Red Flag is the US Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise. Participants often include both United States and allied nations’ combat air forces. The exercise provides aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat sorties in the safety of a training environment. The first edition of the evolution is scheduled to start on January 27 and conclude on February 14.

Photo: Royal Air Force