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April 16, 2014

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Takeoffs, landings at Nellis increase with start of Red Flag combat-training exercise

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AARON MAYES / Las Vegas Sun / Sun File Photo

Exhaust from planes obscure the Stratosphere Tower as they leave to participate in the Red Flag air combat exercise Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002 at Nellis Air Force Base. Red Flag is a two-week aerial war simulation exercise with more than 100 aircrafts from six countries participating. Nellis hosts four Red Flag exercises throughout the year.

Sun archives

A combat-training exercise involving aircraft and forces from the United Kingdom, Australia and United States will bring increased activity to the skies over Nellis Air Force Base and Southern Nevada through mid-March.

The Air Force’s Red Flag 12-3 exercise, which began Monday, takes place north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

More than 70 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice a day, around midday and again in the evening, throughout the three weeks of the exercise, according to a news release from Nellis. The missions take place within the training range’s 12,000 square miles of airspace and over 2.9 million acres of land with “1,900 possible targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force,” the news release said.

Among the U.S. aircraft involved in the exercises are reconnaissance aircraft, B-2 bombers, F-15s, F-16s, F-18s. The Royal Australian Air Force will participate with F-18s, and the Royal Air Force units will fly GR-4 attack aircraft.

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