18th AGRS plays adversary at Red Flag-Alaska 22-2

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 18th Aggressor Squadron is unique in its dedicated role as opposition forces for visiting squadrons training at Red Flag 22-2 and are tasked with providing training to joint-force and allied air crews to help them gain realistic combat experience.

Based out of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, the Aggressors play a pivotal role in the exercise’s simulated combat environment by applying the tactics and techniques of historical and modern adversaries to give fifth generation aircraft pilots genuine experience.

“The Aggressors are replicating a threat,” said Lt. Col. Christopher “Coach” McGoffin, 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot. “We test other squadron’s ability to protect allied forces, to sweep us from the air space we’re trying to deploy into, and then their ability to maintain that localized air superiority.”

Red Flag is the only exercise of its kind that challenges pilots and squadrons to work together and adapt to evolving threat environments, conduct varied mission types and perform multiple roles, and to support joint and allied air and ground forces in an active theater of operations.

“I’m a challenging opponent,” McGoffin said. “I’ve been playing the training role of a Red Flag adversary for nearly 10 years. This squadron has a lot it can teach visiting pilots, and if we give them a little bit of a nosebleed, it’ll help them in a real fight.”

“Pilots learning lessons from facing a high-end opponent like us is a win for the Aggressors,” McGoffin said.

Training with Joint-force and coalition partners is the backbone of maintaining military readiness capability and effectively detouring aggression in the Indo-Pacific region. The Aggressors work hard to make sure all pilots that come to Red Flag are ready to face any challenge, anytime, anywhere.