Tenets of Red Flag
This document was provided by the Air Force in response to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding Red Flag schedule and objectives. The document is not dated, but it was provided in January 2002. Thanks to Gary Sellani for sending us a scan of the original document.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the tenets listed below is to define the scope of RED FLAG, 'What it is" and "What it is not" and to provide p1anning and execution guidance to participants and executing agencies. Any changes to these tenets will require ACC/DO and AWFC/CC approval.
OBJECTIVE: The approved Tenets will be incorporated into COMACC EXPLAN 80. Each of the staff OPRs listed below will develop a CONOPS, as required, of sufficient detail to provide required guidance for implementation into FLAG exercises. The CONOPS will be added to COMACC EXPLAN 80 as attachments for planning and guidance purposes.
1. Flying Safety
- Flight safety will be a major consideration when integrating any part of tactical operations into RED FLAG
2. Replicate "first 10 days" of war
- RED FLAGs primary focus will be to replicate the first 10 days of a major tactical operation through Large Force Employment
- The training is focused at the tactical level of warfare with the primary training audience being Blue 4 up to Mission Commanders
- Operational components above the Expeditionary Operations Center (EOC) will be replicated by a White Cell. The Combat Ops functions of the AOC may be replicated by a BLUE player cell when available.
3. Provide AEP/AEW opportunity to plan and employ together.
- The training cycle will be once every 15 1/2 months
- Large force employment (LFE) - RAP/training requirements
- Provide units training opportunities that can't be accomplished at homestation
- AEF/AEW lead wing will provide the Deployed Force Commander (DFC)
- AEF/AEW lead wing will act as core unit
- AEWs will be afforded the opportunity to employ their EOC as part of the training audience
4. Gather and disseminate lessons learned (LL)
- Data collection will be of sufficient detail to facilitate an evaluation of Tactics, Training, and Procedures (TTPs) for events that occur in LFEs down to Blue 4's execution.
- 414CTS personnel, utilizing the collected data, will facilitate a detailed debrief that will highlight immediate lessons learned focusing on game plan versus execution and aircrew survivability. The intent is to be able to apply these LL to the next days missions.
- Lessons learned will be submitted by the participating units and the 414CTS, the IAW AFI 10-204 and ACC Sup 1, to Air Force Center for Lessons Learned (AFCLL) for incorporation into the LL database.
- Lessons learned form recent conflicts will be used to emphasize special interest areas and influence scenarios in follow-on FLAGs. (i.e. Tactics and Procedures, Integrated Air Defense arrays, Target Arrays, C2, ROE)
5. Opportunity for free exchange and employment of tactical ideas
- RED FLAG provides aircrews the opportunity to exchange ideas between USAF units, other/joint services, and coalition players
- Threat & Aircraft capabilities briefs
- RED FLAG provides the opportunity for inter-service and coalition training
- Tactical concepts employed at RED FLAG must meet AFTTP 3-1 and flight safety criteria before being executed.
6. RED FLAG will afford airmen the opportunity to practice employment tactics throughout the full spectrum of tactical warfare (i.e. practice the way we plan to fight).
- Every RED FLAG period will have aspects of Offensive Counter Air (OCA), Interdiction (INT), Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), and Command and Control (C2).
- RED FLAG will be able to integrate Low Observable (LO) aircraft into every US-only RED FLAG. The level of effort and mode of participation will vary depending on other participants, funding available, and training objectives. (OPR: ACC/DOJ)
- The other aspects of tactical warfare will be integrated into RED FLAG on an "as needed" basis to optimize aircrew training. These include Close Air Support (CAS), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) (OPR: ACC/DOJ), Special Operations Forces (SOF), Dynamic Retargeting, Tactical Airlift, Air-Air refueling.
7. RED FLAG affords the opportunity to introduce aircrews to tactical enablers that are critical to the success of tactical warfare.
- The following enablers will be common to every RED FLAG period.
- Rules of Engagement (Combat ID, Target ID) (OPR: ACC/DOJ)
- Intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination (OPR: ACC/INX)
- Information Warfare (IW) (OPR: ACC/DOZ)
- Communication/Data link integration (Comm Plan) (OPR: ACC/SC, ACC/DOY and AC2ISRC)
- Battle Management/Command and Control (OPR: ACC/DOY)
- Survival, Escape, Resistance, and Evasion (SERE) training (OPR: ACC/DOT)
- Space (OPR: AC2ISRC)
8. RED FLAG will replicate viable and current threats, target arrays, and C2 architectures in scenarios that simulate a cross section representation of significant Areas of Responsibility (AOR) throughout the world.
- Each RED FLAG period will have the following scenario elements
- Air-Air threat, Surface-Air threat, Target Array
- Selected RED FLAG periods will also incorporate elements of RED Force Information Warfare, Electronic Counter Measures, and Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception (CCD).
- Integration of these elements will provide a crawl, walk, run approach to aircrew training. The lethality of the threat array and the difficulty of the target set will be determined by the Deployed Force Commander (DFC) and the 4I4CTS/DO.
9. RED FLAG "U.S.-only" periods will be reserved to fully integrate Special Access Programs (SAP), Special Access Required (SAR) elements of tactical warfare into RED FLAG.
- ACC will schedule a number of "U.S.-only" RED FLAG periods per year to afford the opportunity to fully integrate special access programs into aircrew training. The number of "U.S-only" FLAGs each year will be determined by the ACC/DO staff based on CAP annual training requirements.
- The level of effort and fidelity of training presented in each of these periods will be determined by the ACC/DO staff in conjunction with the Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB.
10. RED FLAG will not be used as a test bed for programs or tactics that are not operationally approved nor is it an environment to conduct inspections, evaluations, or mission qualification checks.
- Integration of any tests or non-operational equipment into the RED FLAG program will require AWFC/CC approval.
- Any tests or non-operational equipment integrated into RED FLAG with AWFC/CC approval must be transparent to the training audience and must not drive the FLAG scenario in any way.
- Red Flag provides an open forum for inexperienced aircrew to improve their tactical airmanship skills and learn from their mistakes. An evaluation environment is not conducive to a non-attribution learning environment.
11. Red Flag will provide (NAF and) unit Intel a realistic training environment.
- Red Flag provides a solid mission planning opportunity for intelligence personnel to hone their skills and work with USAF, Sister service and coalition aircrews.
- Red Flag affords Intel personnel an opportunity to train at a FOL with fielded systems and architectures not available at their home unit.