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Sentry Aloha Exercises to begin this week

March 3, 2015

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawai‘i –The Hawai‘i Air National Guard (HIANG) will host its second large-scale “Sentry Aloha” fighter exercise in 2015, beginning this week.   Area residents may see an increase in fighter aircraft activity as they take off and land at Honolulu International Airport.   The exercise officially begins on Thursday, March 5, but residents may see additional aircraft arriving at Honolulu International Airport today.

For this exercise, F-15 Eagles from Oregon and Florida will be participating.  The Arizona Air National Guard (ANG) will send F-16 Falcons, A-10 Warthogs, C-130 Hercules transports, and a KC-135 Stratotanker.  ANG KC-135 refueling tankers will also be coming from Iowa and Maine.  U.S. Naval aviators will be flying variants of the F/A-18 Hornet from California out of Kaneohe Marine Corps Base-Hawai‘i. There are a total of 45 aircraft and over 1000 servicemen from seven states participating.

“Sentry Aloha” exercises have been conducted by the HIANG several times per year, for decades.  It has been growing in size and complexity following the HIANG’s conversion in 2010 to the F-22 Raptor, the U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter aircraft.  “Sentry Aloha” is now the premier and primary training exercise to prepare multiple elements of the Air National Guard in the mission of our nation’s defense and augmentation of active duty forces should these ANG units be called upon for conflict or war.

Under the Total Force Integration construct, the 154th Wing, the largest ANG wing in the nation, operates the F-22, KC-135, and C-17 in conjunction with active duty units maintained under Pacific Air Forces’ 15th Wing.  The Hawai‘i Air National Guard 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 Hawai‘i’s air defense mission, protecting Hawai‘i’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.

– Taken from a State of Hawaii Department of Defense press release 2015-006.

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