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Emerald Flag exercise begins

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EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Emerald Flag, Eglin’s first native multi-domain test exercise, is underway here on the Eglin test and training range.

This inaugural event, being held Dec. 1-5, brings more than 25 agencies to participate.  It is a collaborative multi-service effort focused on increasing the effectiveness of the joint domain warfighter.

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“The goal is to align DoD resources across the Florida panhandle and enable multi-domain test and experimentation to prepare the warfighter for a 21st-century fight,” said Maj. Alexander Hillman, 45th Test Squadron.

eglin air force base emerald flag T-72 battle tank

Tim Murry, a foreign threats compound contractor, drives a T-72 battle tank into position to serve as adversary targets for a joint service exercise, Emerald Flag, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., 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)

The event will incorporate ground, space, cyberspace, and air platforms. The test will connect 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, according to Hillman.

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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.

eglin air force base emerald flag

Emerald Flag Multi-Service Test Exercise at Eglin Air Force Base.

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.

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Warfighters is a reference to the 53rd Wing’s operational test presence.

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.

eglin air force base emerald flag T-72 battle tank

Tim Murry, a foreign threats compound contractor, drives a T-72 battle tank into position to serve as adversary targets for a joint service exercise, Emerald Flag, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., 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)

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 will judge its success based on the number of unique multi-domain and interoperability test points conducted during testing.

Story by 1st. Lt. Karissa Rodriguez

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