LSV | Red Flag 21-1

Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas
February 04-05, 2021
Red Flag is a few weeks long military exercise that takes place over the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) and another is held in Alaska. There are usually between two and three events per year, and the later ones often include ally nations’ participation. What makes Red Flag such a experience is the variety of military jets, the infamous “flex departure,” and of course the sheer number of jets participating. 
For the last few years around this time I would have the urge to ditch university and run out to Vegas to shoot Red Flag. Everyone else’s pictures would come in my feed and while I was stuck studying for midterms, routine launches of Spirits and Bones would fill the desert sky. However, now that I have graduated, this was the first winter I could make it out to see the sights for myself. Here are a few of my impressions from the two days I was out spotting. This event is unlike any other, and as a mainly commercial spotter myself it was certainly a humbling experience trying to catch jets that are two to three times faster and louder than the usual traffic at LAX. I’ve grown to love military aviation spotting; there is no better way to dive into the world of fast jets and rib cage vibrating sounds than Red Flag.