By 1st Lt Lindsey Heflin, 53rd Wing
The 53rd Wing conducted Black Flag 21-2, the largest Black Flag to date July 13-16, 2021. The three-day large force joint test event occurred included more than 30 Air Force and Navy aircraft.
Testing 16 systems across 11 different weapons systems from 11 different squadrons across the country, Black Flag 21-2 had three main integration objectives.
The first was to conduct large force contested Combat Search and Rescue integration and consequence management. This included validating new CSAR tactics and testing nonconventional means for managing the risk to CSAR forces, improving their ability to dynamically locate, isolate and/or recover multiple isolated personnel dispersed in a high threat environment.
The second objective was to test new tactics to integrate network enabled weapons into the Destructive Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses mission set. The test objective was to explore various ways that network enabled weapons can shorten the timelines of closing kill chains in an extremely dynamic high threat environment to achieve localized air superiority.
The third and final integration objective of Black Flag 21-2 was to investigate various combinations of electronic attack weapons systems and determine their integrated effectiveness in a highly contested environment. This included the EC-130 Compass Call, F-15 Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survival System (EPAWSS), and several other systems.
As part of the Air Force’s test flag enterprise, Black Flag allows the Air Force to test like we fight, developing force integration techniques and discovering capabilities utilizing existing and emerging material to deliver combat capability to the warfighter.
The next Black Flag will occur Oct. 26-28, 2021 as a combined Orange Flag/Black Flag.