LAS VEGAS, NV. --- The United States Marine Corps’ Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122) traveled to Nellis Air Force Base on July 11, 2019 to provide global strike support in Red Flag 19-3.
Red Flag provides an opportunity for allied and sister services to participate in a realistic multi-domain exercise.
VMFA-122, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, represented the Marine Corps with the F-35B Lightning II fighter jet.
“As a Marine, I realize that this is the kind of opportunity we don’t readily see and may only get to participate in a select few times in our careers,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Nathaniel Keegan, VMFA-122 F-35B flight officer. “To be able to participate in a large force exercise (LFE) of this size and this complexity, it’s a huge privilege.”
As a sister service to the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps’ participation in Red Flag is vital to joint service cooperation and training.
“It’s so important to work with other branches and other forces during this exercise because if we all get the call and have to go to war tomorrow, we’re going to be going into a joint environment,” said Keegan.
Keegan said what Marines offer that is unique from other units and branches is their tactics and training, as well as the unique 5th generation capabilities that the F-35B provides.
“We’re showcasing the newest capabilities while also showing how they’ll perform in the high-end environment here at Red Flag; which you can’t find anywhere else,” said Keegan.
While Red Flag happens multiple times a year, different players and different aircraft supply unique experiences to every exercise. These experiences help teach members of every branch of the military how to perform at their best to complete the mission and maintain air superiority.