The Colombian Air Force Writes a Page in the History of Red Flag
By Dialogo August 08, 2012
Once the participation of the Colombian Air Force was finalized in exercise Red Flag 2012 from the Nellis Air Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Colombian pilots were recognized as one of the most highly trained and qualified in air-to-air and air-to-surface combat. During the exercise, combat squadrons from the United States Air Force, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force assisted, and Colombia was invited to participate for the first time.
The Colombian pilots’ professionalism and discipline in executing procedure and established protocol for mission accomplishment were celebrated, as well as their ability to handle communications in a foreign language, which permanently guaranteed security in each and every one of the executed missions.
In the closing ceremony, the United States Air Force made a special mention on Colombia being the only participating Latin American country in exercise Red Flag to transport an entire combat squadron, including logistics and maintenance autonomously and without the support of any foreign country. They were supported by their own cargo, refueling and combat airplanes.
During the exercise, the crew found themselves subjected to the extreme pressure of difficult aerial threats, hostile scenarios, surface-to-air threats such as missiles and radar, as well as the interoperability of more than 60 aircraft that operated simultaneously on the strip and in flight.
The Colombian Air Force plans to continue training its pilots at national and international levels in order to remain at the forefront of developing operations that will guarantee the nation’s defense and the integrity of Colombian citizens.