The Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada was teeming with activity late last month, but it had nothing to do with testing alien technology, nuclear bombs, or any other project shrouded in conspiracy theory.
This time, the U.S. Air Force focused on improving operations to achieve better results during warfare.
The Air Force held a Red Flag 17-1 on Jan. 24 to test out its multi-domain operations, and made a literal killing with its improved results of a 15:1 kill rate. That is, the U.S. Air Force claims its joint strike fighter eliminated 15 opponents for every F-35 that was shot down.
That is a pretty impressive result if the numbers are accurate. But it would not have happened without the cooperation of kinetic and non-kinetic duty officers who worked together not only to maintain the F-35 A Lightning II but to assess all possible types of threats in combat and put a stop to them.
F-35 In Electronic Warfare
The non-kinetic duty officers are responsible for addressing cybersecurity, cyber threats, and other types of electronic warfare. Their inclusion in the assessment and operations is actually a good idea since current warfare has gone beyond weapons and ammunitions.
"We are bringing the non-kinetic duty officers into the fight at Red Flag. These experts in ISR and cyberwarfare are the newest weapons in our command and control arsenal," 25th Air Force Operations Division Chief, Lt. Col. Neal, said.
The Red Flag is also a good way to test how each element works together to get the best results.
"The realistic warfare challenges at Red Flag create an ideal environment for capabilities, like NCCT, to prove their worth in a time-sensitive, task saturated scenario involving the integration of multiple ISR assets," 25th Air Force Operational Integration Branch Chief Garland Henderson said.
Air Forces Cyber Forward Director Col. Robert Cole said the integration of kinetic and non-kinetic forces would allow planners and fighters to scope a situation more effectively with their capabilities and limitations considered. This will then prepare those involved and help them in taking the best course of action that yields maximum effect against their adversaries.
"This course has proven its worth, as it not only provided curriculum bridging the air, space and cyber effects in warfare, but it also produced a multi-domain NKDO team readied for Red Flag 17-1," 25th Air Force ISR Operations Integration and Exercises Deputy Chief Joe Delgado said.