460th OG simulates real-world threats with Virtual Flag exercise
By Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 20, 2015
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 2nd Space Warning Squadron and the 8 SWS are preparing to be involved in the upcoming Virtual Flag training exercise this month on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., along with other units from Air Combat Command.
Virtual Flag is a Combat Air forces exercise, sponsored by Air Combat Command, that is supported by the Distributed Mission Operations Center at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, and the DMOC-Space at Schriever AFB, Colo.
The intent of Virtual Flag is to prepare the Airmen of Buckley, under a controlled environment, for the threat of real-world missile attacks.
The 2 SWS and 8 SWS will react to simulated missiles and provide missile warnings to the exercise and to Air Operations Center at Hancock Field, New York, using the Space-Based Infrared System Missile Warning Simulator.
"The SBIRS Missile Warning Simulator is similar to the flight simulators being used by the aviators and emulates the actual consoles the 2 SWS and 8 SWS crews use daily," said Lt. Col. Christopher Worden, SMOC-S deputy director. "DMOC-S provides the inputs to the SMWS virtual simulator and the 2 SWS and 8 SWS crews then react based on those inputs."
Virtual Flag is the most efficient way to accomplish training over a high-fidelity virtual and constructive architecture without moving forces, Worden said. The benefit of large-scale exercises like this is that Buckley will be working hand-in-hand with other major commands across the nation while still staying at Buckley.
"It allows units to participate and train from their home station in a virtual environment," Worden said. "They get the opportunity to operate with other units that they may conduct real world operations with, without leaving home."
Virtual Flag takes place four times a year. The first three exercises involve U.S. forces only, and the fourth with coalition partners.