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US Fighter Jet Aggressor Squadrons – Colorful Camo with a Bite

Colorful Camo Schemes

Aggressor Squadrons are known for their colorful camouflage paint schemes, which are designed to mimic the camo types often used by adversary forces. Aggressors serve as the enemy aircraft in training exercises, so US and allied pilots get familiar with recognizing and fighting against aircraft with these unusual appearances.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from Eielson Air Force Base, flies in formation over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, July 18, 2019. The JPARC is a 67,000 plus square mile area, providing a realistic training environment commanders leverage for full spectrum engagements, ranging from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Richardson)

Aggressor Training

Aggressor pilots are also trained to mimic the flying styles of enemy pilots, so US pilots can train to counter them. The aggressors are always testing pilots during training exercises, furthering honing both dog-fighting and general aerial combat capabilities.

A U.S. Air Force 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon flies during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2, June 17, 2019, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. In addition to the U.S., pilots from international forces attend RF-A enabling them to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while improving interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Snider)

They provide a dose of realism in air exercises and their training value is crucial.

Gen. David L. Goldfein

As US priorities and adversaries shift, it will be interesting to see the progression of Aggressor paint schemes these fighter jets will be wearing in the future. For now we can enjoy the interesting outcome of today’s geopolitical landscape.

Five F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron await an end-of-runway inspection during Red Flag 14-1 Jan. 29, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Aggressors put the participants through their paces in air, space and cyberspace. Red Flag was established in 1975 to better prepare airmen for combat missions because during Vietnam the kill ratio for U.S. pilots was two to one with many of them being shot down during their first 10 combat missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lorenz Crespo)