There’s No Place Like Home

Two F-15s from the 3rd Operations Group at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, on April 7 conducted the unit’s first live-fire gunnery mission over a range in the state. In the process, they validated the use of a Cessna Conquest aircraft that tows a radar-reflective target banner 2,000 feet behind it as the means with which the unit’s F-15 and F-22 pilots may get in their two required annual air-to-air gunnery training missions at home in Alaska. Previously they had to travel to Tyndall AFB, Fla., for this training. “It is an incredible opportunity to get realistic wartime training right here in Alaska,” said Capt. Jarrod Aranda, chief of F-15 tactics for the wing. He said this training can be conducted year-round. Other fighter units could also take advantage of it, including those attending Red Flag-Alaska exercises, he said. (Elmendorf report by SSgt. Brian Ferguson)