Chapter 3 places the training that began after the end of American involvement in Vietnam into the context of new large-force exercises designed to simulate combat at operational-level exercises, such as Red Flag. The creation of Red Flag in 1975 and subsequent exercises were the most important steps in achieving the later battlefield successes of the 1990s. The Red Flag exercise was created to simulate a pilot’s first ten combat missions, after which a pilot’s life expectancy greatly increased. The brainchild of Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Moody” Suter and with strong backing from TAC commander General Richard Dixon, Red Flag altered the air force’s concept and execution of aerial warfare. The exercise expanded at an amazing rate throughout the later 1970s and 1980s, eventually growing to train thousands of airmen each year and including international participation from eighteen countries.
Keywords: Red Flag, Military training, Military exercises