Air supremacy is defined as a position in war where a side holds complete control of air warfare and airpower over opposing forces. In essence, it’s the degree of air superiority wherein the opposing air force is incapable of effective interference. Since the beginning of the 80’s, the U.S. has worked intensely to develop aircraft that would render this tactical advantage in the event of a war. It’s hard to argue against the U.S. air power in this regard. That’s exactly what Exercise Checkered Flag portrays, a large-force exercise which gives a large number of legacy and fifth-generation aircraft the chance to practice combat training together, showcasing America’s airpower for the world to see.
During this exercise, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, F-16 Fighting Falcons, and F-15E Strike Eagles join forces in tactical integration training at Tyndall Air Force Base. During Exercise Checkered Flag 17-1, aircrews will be evaluated on their ability to mobilize, integrate, deploy, and employ combat air power on a large scale. Air power assets from six Air Combat Command installations are participating: Tyndall AFB, Florida; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Moody AFB, Georgia; Eglin AFB, Florida; and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. The Florida Air National Guard and Louisiana Air National Guard will also provide air assets during the exercise. This is a buffet of all the main entries, plus naval and Marine aviation assets, that anyone who dares to oppose the U.S. in a war would get.