Red Flag 15-4 / Green Flag 15-9 Nellis AFB

I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco whilst the above exercises were taking place at Nellis AFB, so a quick visit was in order to capture the visitors. Las Vegas in late August – what could go wrong? Nellis Rain

I also realised by looking at previous images that I was going to need further reach than my 18-300mm, so a quick rent of a Tamron 150-600mm was organised. I’d looked at buying this lens previously and thought that this would be great opportunity to try it out. Given the prevailing conditions and the fact that I had to shoot at ISO400 or ISO500 to get a decent shutter speed, I was quite impressed. I’m going to wait to see what the new Nikon 200mm-500mm f5.6 is like before deciding what to buy.

So, the good news was that nearly all the frames I wanted to photograph actually flew – the bad news was that the weather was not great (cloudy skies all day) and all the Israeli’s did left breaks for 21L. 🙁

Also flying, but not listed below, were F35A Lighning II’s from 422nd TES, Nellis AFB, NV and AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms from HMLA-369, USMC.

There was a great selection of participating units, including (courtesy Nellis Exercises):

Red Team F-15C/F-16C 64 Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV
Escort F-22 15th Wing, 19th FS, Hickam AFB, HI
  F-16C/D 301st FW, 457th FS, Carswell ARS, Ft Worth TX
  F-16C/D 54th FG, 311th FS, Holloman AFB, NM
  F-16C 56th FW, 61st TFS, Luke AFB, AZ
Interdiction A-10 53rd AW, 422nd TES, Nellis AFB, NV
SEAD F-16CM 20th FW, 77th FS, Shaw AFB, SC
  EA-18G VAQ-131, NAS Whidbey Island, WA (did not fly on 25 Aug)
Airlift C-17 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC
Command & Control E-3/E-8 552nd ACW, Tinker AFB, OK
Refueling KC-135 22nd ARW, 931st ARG, McConnell AFB, KS
Search & Rescue HH-60 55 RQS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
Also participating F-15D/I Israeli Air Force
F-16AM/BM Royal Jordanian Air Force
F-16C/D 425FS, Luke AFB, AZ (Republic of Singapore Air Force)
KC-707 Israeli Air Force
HC-130J 79RQS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
CH-47 Republic of Singapore Air Force