Ellsworth Airmen participate in Green Flag 18-1 Published Oct. 20, 2017 By Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Approximately 200 Airmen departed Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, for Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to participate in Green Flag 18-1 exercise from Oct. 16 to Nov. 3, 2017. Aircrew from the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons and maintainers from the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, are taking part in this exercise to hone their skills in close-air support and air-to-ground combat scenarios. “Green Flag is an exercise for pilot proficiency and maintenance sortie generation,” said Master Sgt. Zachary L. Murphy, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental chief. “[The exercise] prepares them for real-world combat situations while deployed around the globe.” Green Flag also provides an opportunity for the Air Force to train with Army units and practice destroying targets with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers on the ground. “It’s very important for us to practice how we fight and to showcase what we do every day,” said Capt. Lacey Koelling, officer in charge of the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. This exercise bridges the gap between Air Force and Army units making them a more effective fighting force. The training strengthens the relationship between aircrew and maintainers. “We want to see the operations and maintenance [Airmen] become more capable war fighters,” Koelling said. Green Flag is a joint training exercise that takes place 10 times a year, where aircrew from multiple Air Force bases fly out of Nellis AFB to support ground units at the U.S. Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.