Here comes the BOOM: What’s shaking, rattling Southern Utah?

SOUTHERN UTAH — If you’re one of the many Southern Utahns wondering where the recent shakes, rattles and booms are coming from, your answers may be found in the sky. The reverberation many have been experiencing is the result of Nellis Air Force Base flying operations, military exercises and weapons training.

A St. George News reader said she saw two military planes flying low in the sky on Monday and was able to capture a picture of one of them, Washington County, Utah, Nov. 28, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Samantha Merrill, St. George News
A St. George News reader said she saw two military planes flying low in the sky on Monday and was able to capture a picture of one of them, Washington County, Utah, Nov. 28, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Samantha Merrill, St. George News

More than 75 percent of all live munitions used by the United States Air Force for training are dropped on the Nevada Test and Training Range west of St. George.

Judy Clayton reported hearing and feeling “booms” and “shakes” Wednesday in her home on Stone Cliff in St. George.

“Windows and wall hangings rattled a little at the same time,” Clayton said in an email to St. George News. “I’m from California and sensitive to earthquakes, but haven’t heard of any reports of mild earthquakes.”

St. George News reader Samantha Merrill said she saw two military planes flying low in the sky in Washington County Monday and was able to capture a picture of one of them.

According to Nellis Air Force Base officials, taking place this month is a Joint Forcible Entry Exercise defined as a U.S. Air Force Weapons School large-scale air mobility exercise in which participants plan and execute a complex air-land operation in a simulated contested battlefield.

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 | Photo courtesy of and by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jake Carter
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 | Photo courtesy of and by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jake Carter, St. George News

Participants in this exercise must show the ability to synchronize aircraft movements from geographically-separated bases, command large formations of dissimilar aircraft in high-threat airspace, and tactically deliver and recover combat forces via air drops and combat landings on an unimproved landing strip.

Also taking place this month is Advanced Integration – the graduation exercise for the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, which takes place twice a year.

The Advanced Integration exercise involves the planning and execution of every aspect of air and space combat operations, with units converging over the Nevada Test and Training Range for a wide variety of missions, Air Force officials said.

From 100 feet above the ground to twice the speed of sound, Nellis Air Force Base, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, conducts advanced combat training, performs operational test and evaluation, and develops tactics.

Topographic map of federal lands in southern Nevada, including: Nellis Air Force Base, Area 51, Tonopah Test Range, Yucca Mountain, Mercury, Nevada Test Site, Nellis Air Force Range and Desert National Wildlife Range | Image courtesy of Finlay McWalter via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News
Topographic map of federal lands in southern Nevada, including: Nellis Air Force Base, Area 51, Tonopah Test Range, Yucca Mountain, Mercury, Nevada Test Site, Nellis Air Force Range and Desert National Wildlife Range | Image courtesy of Finlay McWalter via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News

Nellis Air Force Base is one of the largest fighter bases in the world. Aircraft from Nellis operate on the Nevada Test and Training Range, which is the largest contiguous air and ground space available for peacetime military operations in the free world.

The range occupies 2.9 million acres of land, 5,000 square miles of airspace which is restricted from civilian air traffic over-flight and another 7,000 square miles of military operating area which is shared with civilian aircraft.

The 12,000-square-nautical mile range provides a realistic arena for operational testing and training aircrews to improve combat readiness. A wide variety of live munitions can be employed on targets on the range.

Many communities in southern Nevada see and hear Nellis aircraft 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • .... December 1, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Oh this should be good LOL ! I can’t wait to see what kind of stupid conspiracy theory Bob comes up with this

  • wilbur December 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Flying around in jets, and getting paid to drop bombs and blow stuff up ?

    (I hate it when folks are having more fun than me.)

  • Rodney N December 3, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Having lived most of my life next to an Air Force base, I miss the sound and sights of jets and large cargo planes. Must be why I didn’t think anything about a few sounds that to me were normal everyday sounds I grew up with. Miss seeing the air show from the comfort of my own backyard.

  • kdawgwilk December 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    This doesn’t even give an explanation…it suggest its related to Nellis air force base and some training exercises but what is actually causing the booms? Bombs, Sonic booms, etc?

  • ProudAmerican December 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    It’s obvious that the Mines went way out of their way to prove their point that it was not the Mines blasts breaking Windows in Sun River. GOSH Mr Kitchen….did you so much pick up the phone to even call Nellis to try to find out some info for these residents, or did you just see the opportunity to be interviewed first be caused your the OPERATIONS SPECIALIST SUPERVISOR with no information.

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