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Red Flag exercises to wrap up Friday at Nellis Air Force Base

Updated August 1, 2021 - 2:25 pm

Residents in the northeast Las Vegas Valley will continue to see increased military airplane activity for another week.

The Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, which began July 19, will finish Friday. Military personnel from across the country come to Nellis to participate in the exercises, which take place three times a year and are meant to simulate combat situations.

The current exercises feature about 100 jets — including F-22, F-35 and B-52 aircraft — and about 2,000 participants from 17 states.

Air Force Lt. Col. Tyler Stef is in charge of organizing the exercises and said he knows they can be disruptive to the community. Stef, who lives in North Las Vegas, said his own family members often remind him how loud the planes can get.

“The support that the community gives Nellis Air Force Base, the members and the base in general, is phenomenal,” he said during a media event Thursday. “We appreciate you guys putting up with the noise and the influx of traffic, but we hope and pray that it is mutually beneficial as we will go out and be able to protect this great nation from whatever threats may arise in the future.

“There’s just so many things going on that really creates some challenges that they’ve never seen. But we do it in a safe, tactical training environment so they can get 10 of those under their belt and really be confident walking out of Red Flag Nellis to go accomplish whatever that next high-end fight may be.”

Air Force Col. Brandon Tellez, who serves as 1st Operations Group (Joint Base Langley-Eustis) commander, also stressed the importance of regularly taking part in Red Flag.

“We get asked to go to very dangerous places,” he said. “We get asked to do very bad things to very bad people,” he said. “So we simulate that by bringing our nation’s airmen all here to Nellis Air Force Base to figure out how to set up shop and execute when we’re asked to do that. So what we represent here is really important.”

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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