Red Flag 22-1 - Fish in a Barrel
by George Poston

For many years I have traveled to the Rachel area to observe and attempt to photograph Red Flag exercises. The past couple years, I have treated myself to lurking just outside Nellis AFB with other military aviation fans.

Unlike hunting the jets out on the ranges, parking just across from the Nellis runway at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is loud, fast, and very productive. If you haven't tried it, you are missing a treat.

Although the base is active year round, Red Flag hosts a variety of aircraft types from across America and some overseas visitors. The Air Force Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds live here and make an occasional appearance.

Air Force Security won't allow you to park on their side of the highway, but the Speedway is a great place to park and visit with like minded observers and photographers. Bring lunch, snacks, plenty of water or beverages and be prepared for a day in the sun.

I spent two separate days (one with my sister and brother in-law) and took nearly 2000 photos. My modest Nikon D5300 and 150-600mm Sigma lens captured several really nice images. You will see some very expensive equipment and some great photographers. Some are happy to discuss their technique and give you a pointer or two. I chatted with an old friend and met a few new ones. One gentleman was visiting from Germany to cover the Shot Show for what he described as the most popular shooting magazine.

The following photos show heavies, Warthogs, Eagles (lots), contractors, Falcon aggressors, and Thunderbird. More photos here

© Copyright 1999-, Dreamland Resort. All rights reserved.   Copyright Policy   Privacy Policy   Page last modified 02/14/2022