By Senior Airman Michael S. Murphy
36th Wing Public Affairs
Since October 2020, the 554th Red Horse Squadron has conducted eight different Silver Flag exercises at Northwest Field while also providing humanitarian and contingency support throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Silver Flag is a contingency training function dedicated to the continuing and evolving education of more than 13 different Air Force Specialty Codes from civil engineers, force support personnel and ground transportation specialists.
“We also work hand-in-hand with our joint partners within the Department of Defense as well as offering limited partner nation training,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Robert Fitte, superintendent assigned to the 554th RED HORSE squadron. “With our partner nations and joint forces, Silver Flag prefers to work with their engineer forces as most of the lingo is easily conveyed regardless of the languages or services.”
Currently, there are three USAF Silver Flag sites worldwide, but each site brings its own variations to the training given according to Fitte.
Fitte also said that out of the three, Andersen AFB’s site offers the largest training area.
“Every member that attends Silver Flag will learn a multitude of skills and receive equipment that will better assist them in a contested environment while also giving personalized hands-on training with equipment that may not be available at their home station,” Fitte said. “It also gives the students the opportunity to take risks, though small in scope, which allows them to step out of their comfort zone and face adversity and failure in an exercise setting.”
This setting allows individuals to receive immediate feedback on what they did incorrectly, how it was incorrect, and how to rectify the situation in the future. Fitte said this environment sets students up with confidence to complete the tasks in a contested/deployed environment.
All students learn Rapid Airfield Damage Repair techniques, while also honing in on specific career field skills most members will experience while responding to a contingency.