Eglin Air Force Base Hosts Emerald Flag Exercise

Emerald Flag, Eglin’s first native multi-domain test exercise, began here Dec. 1-5 on the Eglin Air Force Base test and training range. This inaugural event brings more than 25 agencies to participate. It is a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter. The event incorporates ground, space, cyberspace and air platforms. The test connects those different platforms to improve the speed and flow of information. Another large aspect of Emerald Flag is the integration of Eglin’s five Ws: weapons, water, webs, widgets, and warfighters.

Eglin Air Force Base Hosts Emerald Flag Exercise
Russian T-72 battle tanks sit ready to support Emerald Flag on the Eglin Test and Training Range Nov. 30. The multi-service exercise aims to unify information sharing across joint domain platforms. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Karissa Rodriguez)

The goal is to align the United States Department of Defense resources across the Florida panhandle and enable multi-domain test and experimentation to prepare the warfighter for a 21st-century fight. Weapons testing is part of the 96th Test Wing’s primary mission. Water is a unique Eglin capability that can be utilized in missions on the Eglin Test and Training Range. Webs is the battlespace of the 96th Cyberspace Test Group in their role in delivering cyberspace capabilities. Widgets refer to development programs from the Air Force Research Lab seeking to exercise or demonstrate their progress in a realistic test environment. Warfighters is a reference to the 53rd Wing’s operational test presence.

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Eglin Air Force Base Hosts Emerald Flag Exercise
A maintainer prepares to pull the chocks away from an F-15 for an Emerald Flag mission Dec. 3 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Emerald Flag is a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Karissa Rodriguez)

Eglin has the unique capability of integrating across and amongst these five Ws and enabling a development environment for the agencies participating in Emerald Flag, according to Hillman. This demonstration environment concept originated from within the 96th Test Wing and AFRL’s Munitions Directorate, the Armament Directorate and the 53d Wing were integral in shaping the event.This week’s event planning began in the middle of the COVID-19 shutdown in March. The Emerald Flag event team judges its success based on the number of unique multi-domain and interoperability test points conducted during testing.

Eglin Air Force Base Hosts Emerald Flag Exercise
Simulated foreign targets stand ready for Emerald Flag on the Eglin Test and Training Range Nov. 30. Emerald Flag is a multi-service exercise aimed to unify information sharing across joint domain platforms. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Karissa Rodriguez)
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