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updated 10:47 AM UTC, Aug 17, 2019

Volk Field to host annual Northern Lightning exercise May 6-17

  • Written by Mary Gerdes
  • Published in News

Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center is hosting aircraft and personnel from more than a dozen active duty Air Force, National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps units as part of the annual Northern Lightning Counterland training exercise, which began Monday and continues through May 17.

Northern Lightning is a tactical level, joint training exercise replicating today’s air battle space with current and future weapons platforms. A variety of aircraft including the F-16, EA-18, A-10, and KC-135 will participate in the exercise.

Volk Field CRTC is one of the premier training installations and airspaces in the country, thanks to its expansive airspace and the quality of the training the installation can simulate.

Northern Lightning is one of seven Air National Guard joint accredited exercises held at a Combat Readiness Training Center. Col David May, the commander of Volk Field CRTC, said Northern Lightning continues to grow each year because of the high quality of the exercise as well as the first-class training area and facilities Volk Field offers.

“We are thrilled to host the first of our two Northern Lightning exercises this year,” May said. “Putting on an exercise of this magnitude takes an incredible amount of planning, hard work and dedication on the part of our Airmen, and their efforts over the past months make this a realistic and rewarding training experience for all participants both in the National Guard and the active component. Our airspace, facilities, and ranges are second to none, and Volk Field is one of the premier counterland training locations in the nation. Pilots will get to operate in a contested environment with adversary aircraft, electronic jamming and simulated ground-based threats.”

Units scheduled to participate in the 2019 exercise include the 115th Fighter Wing from Madison, 103rd Air Control Squadron from Orange, Connecticut, 163th Fighter Squadron from Fort Wayne, Indiana, 124th Fighter Wing from Boise, Idaho, 174th Attack Wing from Fort Drum, New York, 179th Fighter Squadron from Duluth, Minnesota, 175th Fighter Squadron from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 147th Air Support Operations Squadron from Illinois, and 209th Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron from Norfolk, Virginia.

The general public can expect to see an increase in aircraft activity in and around the Camp Douglas area May 6-17 into evening hours. Those living in the following counties can anticipate increased military flight operations in the airspace: Adams, Brown, Calumet, Clark, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jackson, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Outagamie, Portage, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood.

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