According to the Israel Defense Forces, the beginning of the two-week “Red Flag” training exercise will be marked by Israeli fighter jets flying over the Nevada desert on Sunday.
Over 100 aircraft will participate in daily American and Israeli air forces drills. Nellis U.S. Air Force Base, located about 8 miles northeast of Las Vegas, is where the exercise is being conducted.
The event has been held at Nellis since 1975, and the current iteration will end on March 24. According to the base, special preparations have been made for the Israeli visitors to fly on Sunday rather than Saturday owing to Shabbat.
According to the base, the practice is repeated three times a year. One is only available to “Five Eyes” members (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States), one is only open to participants in the “Five Eyes,” and the third welcomes “an extended roster of international allies and partners.”
During training exercises, numerous combat scenarios will be acted out, such as intercepting enemy aircraft, flying at low altitudes, and flying over terrain covered by surface-to-air missile systems.
In addition, an Israeli Air Force F-35I “Adir” fighter plane will be refueled midair by an American KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.
The Israeli military claims this year’s drill will be the first time IAF F-35I “Adir” and F-15I “Ra’am” aircraft—seven F-35Is and two F-15Is—fly over U.S. land.
The combined IDF-US drill “Juniper Oak” was followed by “Red Flag” in January. Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Israel were the locations of Central Command.
The Israeli military claims it was the biggest drill ever held with CENTCOM, whose domain includes the Middle East.
Israel was added to CENTCOM’s remit on September 1, 2021, replacing the European Command (EUCOM), a change announced in the last days of the Trump administration.
Despite being in the Middle East, Israel had remained a part of EUCOM’s jurisdiction for numerous decades, partly to prevent hostility between the Israeli and Arab military.
Yet, it was decided that tighter cooperation between Israeli and American forces in the region was required due to mounting threats from Iran and Israel’s strengthening ties with numerous Arab nations.