64th ARGS: Sharpening sword for combat air forces

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A 64th Aggressor Squadron pilot walks from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after a Red Flag 17-4 exercise sortie on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Aug. 25, 2017. The 64th ARGS has handled the mission of preparing combat air forces as well as joint and allied aircrews for tomorrow’s victories since 1972. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

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A 64th Aggressor Squadron pilot sits in an F-16 Fighting Falcon after a Red Flag 17-4 sortie on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Aug. 25, 2017. The 64th ARGS also supports the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and Mobile Training Teams to develop exceptional leaders and provide flying support. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- The 64th Aggressor Squadron and its pilots have handled the mission of preparing combat air forces as well as joint and allied aircrews to win any fight, any time, since 1972.

Through these sorties and support, the pilots of the 64th ARGS prepare forces to strengthen alliances through the highest level of combat training and preparation.

The pilots provide realistic threat replication for all airframes that travel to Nellis Air Force Base for training, most importantly during the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat exercise, Red Flag.

Once Red Flag hits, Aggressor pilots fly day and night missions as opposing forces by providing the highest level of training possible to maintain readiness.

"It's nothing short of a moral obligation to ensure that we establish air superiority quickly whenever and wherever it's required," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

To maintain this level of readiness, during Red Flag, pilots’ days are dominated by flying missions followed by briefs before and afterward, said Capt. Danielle Kangas, the 64th AGRS chief of training.

For the Aggressors, select pilots have the added responsibility of being adversaries, said Kangas.

"Our job is to know the threats the United States faces, become subject matter experts on those threats, and be able to teach our combat squadrons the air capabilities those threats possess," said Kangas. "We have to accurately replicate these threats to provide the most realistic training possible. We are the go-to for adversary tactics, capabilities and limitations."

The 64th ARGS also supports the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and Mobile Training Teams to teach aggressor academics and provide flying support, said Kangas.

Through these sorties and support, the pilots of the 64th ARGS prepare joint and allied forces to strengthen our alliances through the highest level of training and preparation.

"We not only have a detailed understanding of how we plan and execute tactically in the United States, but it requires a very detailed understanding and knowledge of all threats," said Kangas. "We are the (subject matter experts) on our adversaries."