Military Aviation

Nellis confirms first case of COVID 2019 at Red Flag 20-2. Flight operations for the Exercise Interrupted.

A NATO service member, who was at the base for Red Flag 20-2, has tested positive and is under isolation.

On Mar. 19, 2020 Nellis Air Force Base has a confirmed case of COVID 2019. A NATO service member has tested positive and is under isolation.

The service member, who was at the base for Red Flag 20-2, entered isolation at the time of symptom onset and will remain in isolation in accordance with CDC protocols.  The service member has received medical treatment.

The press release says the flying phase of the exercise is over and personnel are departing the base.

Red Flag 20-2 began on Mar. 6 and was scheduled to last until Mar. 20.

As told by Senior Airman Miranda A. Loera, 57th Wing Public Affairs, in the article Red Flag 20-2: Maximizing combat readiness, capability, survivability between forces, as one of the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat training exercises, this iteration included participants from various services, including U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines as well as allied forces from the Italian, German and Spanish air forces.

Red Flag exercises provide mission commanders, maintenance personnel, ground controllers, and air, space and cyber operators the opportunity to experience realistic combat scenarios to prepare for future warfare. 

Aircraft and personnel deploy to Nellis for RED FLAG under the Air Expeditionary Force concept and make up the exercise’s “Blue” forces. Red Flag links participants through teamwork-enforced activities which provides a more adaptable force.

Red Flag ensures combat air forces are ready to win the nation’s wars and builds partnerships and interoperability among allies and across multiple domains. 

For Nellis-specific COVID-19 information, please visit:

Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young / U.S. Air Force

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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