By Staff Sgt. Duane Duimstra, 114th Fighter Wing
/ Published March 23, 2017
114th Aircraft Maintenance weapon loaders mount a training missile on a F-16C during a training mission March 14, 2017, Naval Air Station Key West, FL. The purpose of the deployment was to train with the U.S. Navy and Canadian Air Force. This training serves as the culmination of the 175th Fighter Squadron air-to-air training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Travis Schuring/Released)
Approximately 140 Airmen returned last week from a joint training exercise at Naval Air Station Key West, FL. The purpose of this deployment was to train alongside the U.S. Navy and Canadian Air Force.
“This training serves as the culmination of the 175th Fighter Squadron air-to-air training.” said Lt. Col. Cory Kestel, 175th Fighter Squadron commander.
The training allows pilots and aircraft maintainers to generate sorties without the interruption of South Dakota’s unpredictable winter weather as well as use of larger airspace.
The pilots utilized the 60,000 feet of airspace fighting with and against dissimilar fighter aircraft as well doing maneuvers they normally wouldn’t be able to do in South Dakota’s limited airspace.
“This will give our pilots the ability to go supersonic at any time and we are confident we’ll be able to fly every day while we are there.” said Kestel.
The training exercise gave Airmen a chance to work in a joint environment and a chance to foster a good relationship with the U.S. Navy and Canadian Air Force.