Skip to content

Check Six – 2006: RIMPAC 2006

June 17, 2022

The following article, written by TSgt Chris Vadnais, was featured in the Air Force Print News and reprinted in a 2006 issue of the Pūpūkahi.

SSgts Gabriel Coronado and Arthur Hamabata install the wings and fins on an AIM-7 Sparrow missile at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawai‘i. The Airman are from the Hawai‘i Air National Guard’s 154th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. US Air Force photograph

Hickam Air Force Base, Hawai‘i (AFNS) – Seven F-15 Eagle fighter jets assigned to the Hawai‘i Air National Guard fired AIM-7 Sparrow missiles at drones dropped from a Navy F-18 July 16. Pilots fired the missiles in the Pacific Missile Range Facility off the coast of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, as part of the 2006 Rim of the Pacific Exercise, known as RIMPAC. 

RIMPAC brought friendly forces from the Pacific theater and the United Kingdom together to engage in air and sea war games.

The opportunity to fire live ordnance in Hawai‘i does not come often. Crews usually travel to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida for firing practice. Even then the missiles they use are loaded with telemetry equipment rather than live ordnance.

“We had the option to either destroy or shoot 14 missiles,” said Maj. John Traettino, an F-15 pilot with the Hawai‘i Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron. “It’s actually less expensive to shoot the missiles as opposed to destroying them. It’s excellent training for us as [o;pts and controllers. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Hawai‘i Air National Guard.”

These days a training exercise that saves money is like gold. The Air Force’s Smart Operations 21 strategy challenges Airmen at all levels to look for value-added opportunities just like this. 

But saving money while getting valuable wartime training is just part of the benefit of these sorties. This mission also demonstrated the Total Force concept the Air Force is perfecting – Air National Guard operation seamlessly integrating into active duy missions. The Pacific Command’s RIMPAC exercise provided the framework to showcase that cooperation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

RIMPAC 2022 will provide another challenging training opportunity for the Hawai‘i Air National Guard.

From → History

Comments are closed.