RED FLAG 22-2 Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV March 14th – 17th, 2022

This was my 3rd trip to the 2nd Red Flag exercise and the weather was much better than my previous visit in 2021. I went during the 2nd week of 22-2, 13th-18th. The wind wasn’t so bad that it allowed the aircraft to take off from runway 3 for their “Flex West” departures over the raceway and land RW21 which is back over the raceway

    The aircraft and units participating in this flag were:


    64th AGRS F-16C Nellis AFB, NV
    16th WPS F-16C Nellis AFB, NV
    Draken F-1 Nellis AFB, NV
    Draken L-159 Nellis AFB, NV


    55th FS F-16C Shaw AFB
    79th FS F-16C Shaw AFB
    425th FS F-16D Luke AFB
    VFA-83 F-18E NAS Oceana


    28th & 9th BS B-1B Ellsworth, SD
    428th FS F-15SG Mountain Home
    FWS F-15SA Saudi Arabia


    VAQ-131 EA-18G NAS Whidbey Island
    VAQ-135 EA-18G NAS Whidbey Island


    128th ACCS E-3G Tinker AFB


    91st ARS KC-135T MacDill AFB


    66th RQS HH-60G Nellis AFB, NV
    102st RQS HC-130J Gabreski ANGB, NY

The Germans were supposed to send over their Tornado’s, I was waiting up at Bangor ME the week prior with one of their officers who was waiting for the A-400. This had all the crew to receive the Tornado’s. Overnight Russia invaded the Ukraine and the Tornado’s lost their tanker support to cross over to the states.

This was the first time in 2 years since Covid hit that allowed Europeans to come into the states and I met a nice bunch of fellow photographers, all with the same passion as mine. Next year I’ll shoot for Red Flag 23-1 in hopes of getting some B-1’s and B-52’s that were at this year’s first Red Flag exercise.

This was the first time I’ve seen the Thunderbirds practice while a Red Flag exercise was going on. Since the air show at Luke AFB canceled for 3/19-20, they must have kept up their practice schedule for the next show on 3/26 in Columbus MS. If you’ve never witnessed a Red Flag event, I highly recommend even 2-3 days out during one, you’ll have more photos to edit than 2 weeks of air shows. My friend from my home airport went to the same week as me for his first ever Red Flag. He took 10K shots his first day, have to watch those mirrorless cameras with their 100 shots per second. I ended up taking 7500 over 4 days, but have culled it down to 6200 but still have much more culling to do.