Oregon Guardsmen participate in joint exercise Sentry Aloha [VIDEO]

Story by Airman 1st Class Adam Smith

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.

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 Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) occupies a strategic position in the highly contested Pacific Command Area of Responsibility and maintaining unit effectiveness is vital to U.S. interest.

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

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.”

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, sits ready on the ramp during the Sentry Aloha exercise at 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)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, sits ready on the ramp during the Sentry Aloha exercise at 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)

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.

More Photos

U.S. Air Force F-22 from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii step to their aircraft, 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)