You may hear – and even feel – the boom as airmen test mettle in high-tech training exercises

An F-22 Raptor banks off after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Nevada Test and Training Range in a training sortie during a Red Flag exercise in which units from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy work together to succeed in air, space and cyberspace, Nevada, July 21, 2016 | File photo by Senior Airman Jake Carter courtesy of U.S. Air Force, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Residents in Southern Utah and southern Nevada can rest assured that the booming, shaking and rattling they may experience in the coming days are not the result of active warfare but rather high-tech military training exercises.

A crew chief, assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, marshals an F-35A Lightning II after landing on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 21, 2017 | File photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum courtesy of U.S. Air Force, St. George News

The Red Flag training exercises are organized at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range. The range includes a training area with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land.

Aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice a day at various times for the duration of the exercises through Aug. 3, including night launches for nighttime combat operations training.

Aircraft have been known to fly over Southern Utah during the training exercises, often creating loud booms during flyovers and munitions testing.

Homes have been known to rattle as a result of the sonic booms created by such aircraft as F-16 Fighting Falcons capable of reaching speeds of Mach 2.

During a Red Flag exercise in 2016, a SunRiver resident said his home’s windows cracked when an aircraft flew overhead.

Read more: SunRiver residents report cracked windows after Air Force training exercises

An F-14E Strike Eagle assigned to the 389th Fighter Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, takes off during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 21, 2015 | File photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force, St. George News

“Red Flag gives aircrews an opportunity to experience advanced, relevant, and realistic combat-like situations in a controlled environment to increase their ability to complete missions,” Nellis Air Force Base stated in a news release.

The exercises are also designed to prepare maintenance personnel, ground controllers and space and cyber operators to support missions in a tactical environment.

The training range includes approximately 2,200 targets, providing realistic threat systems that mimic an opposing enemy force that the Air Force says “cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.”

The Red Flag exercises are executed by the 414th Combat Training Squadron. The training simulation is just one of a series of advanced training programs administered at Nellis.

“Nellis and the Nevada Test and Training Range provide combat air forces with the ability to train to fight together, survive together and win together,” the news release states.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

4 Comments

  • johncmiller July 24, 2018 at 7:35 am

    The title of this article needs some help.

    • Paul Dail Paul Dail July 24, 2018 at 10:14 am

      John, it did indeed. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. It has been remedied.

      Paul Dail
      ST. GEORGE NEWS

      • RVer July 25, 2018 at 5:55 pm

        You also need to fix the caption on the last photo – it’s an F-15E Strike Eagle.

        For those folks saying “stay out of my backyard”, just remember what they are doing and practicing for, and what they are sacrificing in doing so. A drywall crack or two is nothing.

        Hopefully it will never happen, but someday, you just might be wishing they were overhead when you have another force closing in on your home.

  • utahdiablo July 24, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    “Homes have been known to rattle as a result of the sonic booms created by such aircraft as F-16 Fighting Falcons reaching speeds of Mach 2.

    During a Red Flag exercise in 2016, a SunRiver resident said his home’s windows cracked when an aircraft flew overhead”……….yeah, fun times ahead folks, enjoy your cracked drywall and windows….they need to change their flight pattern already, plenty of open space all across the Nevada central desert to bomb the heck out of…stay out of my backyard in southern Utah

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.