173rd FW to conduct night flying operations

  • Published
The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations next week, Aug. 24 - 27.  Operations will take place approximately 4 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. 

Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15C student pilots at Kingsley Field, the premiere F-15C schoolhouse for the United States Air Force.

"We recognize and truly appreciate the exceptional support the 173rd FW receives year in and year out from the Klamath Falls community," said Col. Kirk Pierce, commander of the173rd FW.  "With that in mind, we want to ensure the community understands why we have to perform F-15 training operations outside of our normal flying window.  As the sole F-15 training unit for the United States Air Force, it is imperative that our student pilots leave Kingsley Field prepared to effectively employ the F-15, day or night." 

The majority of the training will occur in the military operating airspace to the east of Lakeview, where the pilots can fly without any lights.  However the community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field.  Take-offs will occur after sundown and the jets will return approximately an hour and a half later.

"Night flying is necessary in the training environment because much of the flying done in combat or homeland defense is at night," said Lt. Col. Tim Ebner, 114th Fighter Squadron commander.  "Once a student is proficient in day employment, they are introduced to employing the same tactics at night with the aid of night vision goggles.  Students learn that there are tactical advantages to night employment but they also learn that there are challenges they must first overcome."

Community members may contact the wing's public affairs office at 541-885-6677 to express any concerns they have during this time.