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Firstie Flag: Air Force Cadets Prepare for Future Fights

About 1,000 seniors at the U.S. Air Force Academy took a significant step forward in their future roles as officers during Firstie Flag — an exercise to prepare them for potential conflicts with a great power adversary.

An Air Force cadet wearing a headset stares at a large screen while holding a joystick in each hand. Another person is seen off to the side.
Firstie Flag
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets participate in Firstie Flag, a culminating exercise for senior cadets at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 10, 2024. The training prepares cadets for future conflicts with great power adversaries.
Photo By: Trevor Cokley, Air Force
VIRIN: 240210-F-XS730-1017

The training took place in the field and in the classroom. Air Force officials say the exercise integrates everything the cadets have learned over the years and brings together both Air Force and Space Force missions.

A cadet looks at a monitor with a large map.
Firstie Flag
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets participate in Firstie Flag, a culminating exercise for senior cadets at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 10, 2024. The training prepares cadets for future conflicts with great power adversaries.
Photo By: Trevor Cokley, Air Force
VIRIN: 240210-F-XS730-1028
A cadet points a weapon while standing in the snow.
Firstie Flag
A U.S. Air Force Academy cadet participates in Firstie Flag, a culminating exercise for senior cadets at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 10, 2024. The training prepares cadets for future conflicts with great power adversaries.
Photo By: Trevor Cokley, Air Force
VIRIN: 240210-F-XS730-1002

Cadets say the communication, brainstorming and teamwork that are required for success in Firstie Flag are skills that will serve them well in their future careers.

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