The USAF was forced to cancel one of its Red Flag exercises scheduled for late October due to a lack of tanker support being available for the exercise.
Held about four times a year and with allied forces attending one of two of the exercises, Red Flag is designed to simulate a combat pilot’s first 10 missions in an extremely high fidelity and realistic environment, thus giving vital experience in preparation for the real thing.
The tankers were required to not only support forces during the actual exercise, but also to ‘drag’ overseas based units to Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, but couldn’t be spared due to ongoing operations.
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