If you want to know what a Red Flag's mass launch from Nellis Air Force Base looks like, watch this video

Have you ever wondered what happens during an ordinary day’s mass launch of Red Flag missions at Nellis Air Force Base, in Nevada?

The following video will give you a clue.

You’ll see several Aggressor F-15s and F-16s, U.S. KC-135s, B-52s and B-1s, A-10s, F-15s, EA-6B Prowlers as well as Colombian Air Force Kfirs and B707 tanker launching for Red Flag 12-4 sorties.

Noteworthy, according to the user who uploaded the video to Youtube, people were not allowed to film neither UAE Air Force F-16s nor U.S. Air Force F-16CMs operating with the 388th Fighter Wing, 421st Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The golf course at Nellis is in the SE side of the airfield. We were golfing there s few years back and the entire launch came over us. It was interesting for a while but eventually after the 20 or -30th pair of f15s, 16s 111s etc blasted over us. It became a bit of a nuisance :)


  2. Recent exercises Red Flag and TLP in Albacete, Spain in the past few months showed similiar behaviour from USAF not allowing filming the 52nd FW ‘SP’ F-16s. What is so secret about vipers nowadays? ok, ok I don’t expect a full reply, but, any hints?

    • The ‘SP’ F-16s, among other units, are frequently used for SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) and as such they’ve probably been doing some sensitive upgrades to them, like ‘Have Glass’ etc.

  3. I work on Vipers and and we have our reasons that I will not discuss. Just because an airplane might have been in service for more than 30 years does not mean that aspects of the program are open for pubic view or discussion.

  4. I was a mission crew participant at Redflag in 92, 93 and I’m not sure about 94, but most likely. Also a couple other “flags”. It was great to get to see all the planes. I recall one early morning, very very early we had had the premission brief and I was sitting outside in the cool almost dawn. I could hear this weird engine off to the North..a pulsing sound, but could not see anything. Always wondered what that was. As I sat and watched this again, it reminded me of my times up there. Prior to a ‘push’ there would be mass aircrew briefings, everyone in a big auditorium. I recall the briefer telling us all: pilots and crews, to not “break the box” or we, our planes and our ground crews would all go home. “The Box” was the vertical wall surrounding Area 51, which was north/northwest of Nellis IIRC. They would tell us this every single day too, not just once and forget it.

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