“While the Red Flag exercise here is similar to the exercises that we encounter in Europe, the surface-to-air threats that are part of Red Flag are top notch and always serve as a challenge,” Perez said.
Only countries considered friendly towards the United States take part in Red Flag exercises. So far, the countries to have participated in these exercises are:
Today, the (414 CTS) is the unit currently tasked with running Red Flag exercises, while the (64 AGRS) also based at Nellis AFB uses aircraft to emulate the . These aircraft continue to be painted in the various camouflage schemes of potential adversaries. An additional squadron at Nellis, the (65 AGRS), operated aircraft in various camouflage schemes of potential adversaries to replicate and threats. However, the 65 AGRS was inactivated on 26 September 2014 due to Fiscal Year 2015 budget constraints imposed upon the Air Force that zero-lined the squadron's budget.
The concept of Colonel Richard "Moody" Suter became the driving force in Red Flag's implementation, persuading the then- commander, General , to adopt the program. At Nellis, Suter was well-known and well-liked. The first Red Flag exercise came off on Gen Dixon's schedule in November 1975. On 1 March 1976, the 4440th Tactical Fighter Training Group (Red Flag) was chartered with Col P.J. White as the first commander, Lt Col Marty Mahrt as vice commander, and Lt Col David Burner as Director of Operations. This small crew under Col White's leadership undertook the task of firmly establishing the program.