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Sentry Aloha starts next week

January 17, 2015

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii – The Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) will be hosting a large-scale “Sentry Aloha” fighter exercise beginning Tuesday, January 20. Area residents, particularly along Oahu’s Leeward Coast may see an increase in fighter aircraft as they approach Honolulu International Airport for landing.

“Sentry Aloha” exercises have been conducted by the HIANG, about four times per year, for several decades. What makes this particular “Sentry Aloha” different is the number of visiting fighter aircraft participating in the exercise. In the past a “Sentry Aloha” would typically involve one visiting fighter squadron and a limited number of aircraft. For this exercise, F-22s and F-16s from Alaska, as well as F-15s from Massachusetts will participate. Currently, there are more than 400 visiting airmen and nearly 60 aircraft from six states participating. “Sentry Aloha” exercises are held to provide the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and DoD counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue, with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic, integrated training to equip the warfighter with the skill sets necessary to fly, fight and win. During the exercise, area residents are likely to see an increase in fighter aircraft take-offs and landings.

“Sentry Aloha” has been growing in size and complexity following the HIANG’s conversion to the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 is the U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter aircraft. The HIANG’s 199th Fighter Squadron flies the F-22 Raptor in conjunction with the 19th Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Air Force. The 199th is tasked with augmenting the active duty U.S. Air Force with air superiority fighters during war or other operational contingencies. The fifth-generation F-22 Raptor has unparalleled stealthiness, supercruise, unmatched maneuverability and improved sustainability that would enable the aircraft to strike deep and fast, day or night, paving the way for friendly air, ground and naval forces to operate freely; gather and distribute intelligence across the battlefield. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to a total of 20 F-22 Raptors.

The 199th Fighter Squadron is part of the 154th Wing, the largest Air National Guard wing in the nation. The 154th Wing flies and maintains F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft, KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft and C-17 Globemaster III transports in conjunction with the active duty’s 15th Wing. The Hawaii Air National Guard is comprised of approximately 2,500 airmen whose federal mission is to be trained and available for active duty operational missions. It is also tasked with Hawaii’s air defense mission, protecting Hawaii’s airspace around-the-clock, 365 days a year. Its state mission is to be trained and available for domestic operations at home, including relief and recovery operations following a natural disaster.

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