Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise. The mission is to maximize the combat readiness and survivability of participants by providing a realistic training environment. During a Red Flag exercise the Aggressor Squadron, or "bandits", acts as the opponent against the pilots undergoing training. They fly according to the tactical doctrines of the Soviet Union in order to better simulate real combat situations. The Aggressor Squadron pilots are selected from the top fighter pilots in the U.S. Air Force.
Their F-16’s are painted in color schemes commonly found on Soviet aircraft.