KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.: More than 200 joint military participants from across the United States and Puerto Rico will gather for Virtual Flag 10-2 at the Distributed Mission Operations Center in March here.
Virtual Flag is a seven-day exercise connecting simulators and live aircraft in a dynamic battlespace to challenge air, land and sea combatants in theater battle and incorporates multiple Air Force, Navy and Army platforms.
Members of the 705th Combat Training Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base will execute the exercise that will involve C-17 Globemaster IIIs, RC-135s, combat reporting centers, E-3 Sentrys, E-8 Joint Stars, B-1B Lancers, B-2 Spirits and B-52 Stratotankers.
“Virtual Flag provides the joint warfighter with a unique opportunity to integrate into large-force composite exercises — something we do not get the chance to practice often — but must be ready to execute at a moment’s notice,” said Lt. Col. Dan Pepper, the 705th CTS commander. “This exercise allows all participants to not only gain invaluable planning and coordination experience, but to face a dynamic and realistic enemy threat scenario.”
Participants interact with a live air and space operations center floor to resolve challenging command and control issues just as they would in a combat theater. Virtual Flag participants will face air and ground threats from opposing forces.
The fight goes beyond coordination between fighter and bomber strike forces and demands integrated efforts from shooters, space forces, sensor operators, air operations center staff, command and control, information operations and joint comrades in arms.
In preparation for the upcoming exercise, the 705th CTS staff is integrating programs and systems and designing scenarios to meet the participating units’ training objectives.
The exercise will be adjusted every day to ensure the warfighting audience receives the highest quality training.