JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Jan. 10, 2018 marked the beginning of Sentry Aloha 18-1, a large-scale fighter exercise hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Sentry Aloha exercises are held to provide the Air National Guard (ANG), U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense agencies an opportunity to execute current, realistic, integrated training specifically designed to develop combat operations and skill sets.
The 354th Fighter Wing’s 18th Aggressor Squadron pilots are experts in replicating adversarial aircraft capabilities, and will play the roles of “Red Air.” Their job is to simulate the enemy during exercise scenarios allowing other units to practice their combat tactics and procedures.
With their support the Hawaii ANG’s 154th Wing and California ANG’s 144th Fighter Wing will receive realistic air-to-air combat training enabling them to better perform defense and combat operations.
“We are providing training platforms for the Hawaii and California ANG’s offensive counter-air and defensive counter-air missions,” said Capt. Robert Glenn, an 18th AGRS pilot. “They don’t have dedicated adversary air so this exercise will improve each unit’s capability to fight and increase overall readiness in Pacific theater.”
Due to their location the F-22 Raptor pilots based in Hawaii don’t have many opportunities to train with professional adversaries such as the 18th AGRS and also have limited opportunities to train with 4th Generation aircraft.
“On a daily basis normal combat units have to split up their training to allow for adversary support within their own unit,” said Maj. Brandon “Napalm” Nauta, the 18th AGRS assistant director of operations. “But when the aggressors are available it allows their entire unit to train and provides their young wingmen multiple opportunities to train against what they can expect to see from a real enemy.”
Throughout the exercise, which ends Jan. 24, 2018, the Airmen will gain experience with multi-generation fighter integration including the 4th generation F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15 Eagle and the 5th generation F-22 Raptor.