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Oregon Guardsmen participate in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha

Sentry Aloha

United States Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, receive fuel from a Hawaii Air National Guard KC-135 over the Pacific Ocean during the Sentry Aloha exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, August 27, 2019. Aircraft from around the world took part in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha, a three week coalition exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

A United States Air Force F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, flies over the Pacific Ocean during the Sentry Aloha exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, August 27, 2019. Aircraft from around the world took part in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha, a three week coalition exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

A United States Air Force F-15 Eagle from the 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, flies over the Pacific Ocean during the Sentry Aloha exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, August 27, 2019. Aircraft from around the world took part in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha, a three week coalition exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing board United States Air Force KC-135 as they prepare to depart Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon August 16, 2019. These Airmen are supporting operations during Sentry Aloha, a three week long joint exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing work on an F-15 Eagle from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, during the Sentry Aloha exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, August 23, 2019. Aircraft from around the world took part in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha, a three week coalition exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

A United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from Tulsa Air National Guard Base in Tulsa, Oklahoma takes off from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, August 21, 2019. Aircraft from around the world took part in Joint Exercise Sentry Aloha, a three week coalition exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

Sentry Aloha

A United States Air Force KC-135 flies over the Pacific Ocean while transporting 173rd Fighter Wing Airmen from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, August 16, 2019. These Airmen are supporting operations during Sentry Aloha, a three week long joint exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

Five F-15 Eagles and more than ninety Airmen from Kingsley Field flew to Hawaii for three weeks to support Sentry Aloha 19-2, a large-scale exercise with both American and Australian Forces, August 16 through September 6, 2019.

Exercises such as Sentry Aloha 19-2 allow Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam pilots to train against a diverse set of opponents that can imitate what may be encountered in combat.

Lt. Col Victor Knill, 173rd Fighter Wing Sentry Aloha project officer, said, “The purpose of this exercise is to get the Hawaiian F-22s as much training as they can get since they’re kind of out here, isolated. They don’t get a lot of opportunities to get a lot of big, large force exercise training.”

Knill emphasized that JBPHH occupies a strategic position in the highly contested Pacific Command Area of Responsibility and maintaining unit effectiveness is vital to U.S. interest.

Kingsley Eagles flew with Hawaiian F-22 Raptors simulating both friendly “Blue Forces” and as adversaries. F-16 Fighting Falcons from Tulsa Air National Guard Base and an Australian E-7 Wedgetail AEW&C also participated.

Captain Paul Spotten, 173rd FW Sentry Aloha maintenance officer in charge, said that the benefits of this exercise extend beyond just the local Hawaiian Raptor pilots. “The way these large force exercises work, it really is good training for everyone involved. Everyone is learning a lot from being able to participate in an exercise like this.”

More than ninety Airmen followed Kingsley’s five jets to ensure the mission went smoothly, said Spotten. “We’ve got folks from maintenance squadron, aircraft maintenance squadron, maintenance operations flight, operations support, the fighter squadron, logistics readiness, comm flight. We really did bring a really good, big diverse team.”

Knill also praised the hard work of every Kingsley Airman who supported the mission. “They showed dedication and resilience throughout the entire exercise, sometimes working ten plus hour shifts to make the flying happen.”

During the nine mission days, Kingsley Eagles flew 65 sorties, adding up to more than 110 hours in the air.

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