I was back at Nellis AFB recently for another Red Flag exercise for Global Aviation Resource. Chris Wood and I were there to cover it and the piece we put together can be found at this link. After the last visit to Red Flag when a security issue resulted in all of the media being escorted off base just before the launch, I was hoping for better luck this time. Fortunately, we did pretty well. The launch went well and, while the light was a bit poor for the departures, it got better as the day went on.
Standing between the runways as the aircraft go off each side is pretty cool. We had a lot of USAF assets this time but also some Navy Growlers and RAF Typhoons. An RAF Sentinel was a nice addition – particularly as it was the aircraft with the squadron markings. One unfortunate element was that the launch was earlier than had been scheduled for our visit and the early aircraft off included the B-2s. We were still on the bus when they launched. I managed to get a shot with my phone out of the window but that was it. I do actually quite like the shot so all is not lost.
The feature has many more shots but here are a few to give you an idea of what was there.
Nice pix, as usual.
One question: you mentioned in earlier posts that Shaw F-16s (tail code “SW”) were previously off limits for photos at Red Flag, but here and in your Global story, there are many. Has the policy changed, or are you simply pushing the “editorial limits”?
Each time you go, they give you a different set of rules. It is a guessing game what will be allowed at any time. We never use shots of out of bounds jets shot on base. Normally we don’t even get any because we see that they are on the banned list and don’t pick up the camera but, if you get any by mistake, they never see the light of day. When you are shooting outside the base, everything is acceptable. Shooting from the Speedway, you are free to get anything. We don’t ever push the rules on base because we want to be invited back. Sadly not everyone is as concerned about this! The issue with Shaw jets is often debated amongst the photographers while there. Is it the specific squadron or are the jets modified somehow? No-one seems to have a clear answer so we just go with what we are told to do.