Northern Lightning Exercise


09/06/2016: 4th and 5th generation aircraft soared through the skies at Volk Field on Thursday morning as pilots had combat rehearsal training.

Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center hosted their annual Northern Lightning combat exercise which provides real-world conflict scenarios for active service personnel from the National Guard, Air Force, and the Navy.

The week long exercise is meant to prepare 700 airmen for combat. Missions practiced at Volk Field are high-end training drills for units from all over the country.

“These exercises allow us to practice full scale operations and they allow us to improve our own instructors so that when we go back to our school house to teach the newest students in the F-35, we can make them better and ultimately improve our combat capability as an Air Force,” Lt. Col. Brad Baeshore, Commander, 58th Fighter Squadron said.

The situations practiced provide extensive training and cohesiveness between joint military services.

“The Air Force just declared initial operational capability, we just did that on the second of August is when we declared that and now the important part is that we are taking the F-35 on the road to train other people what our tactics are and how to manage those tactics so that when we do have to employ in combat everyone is familiar with each other and we know how to execute those to the best of our abilities.” Lt. Col. Brad Baeshore added.

Northern Lightning exercise 2016 is the largest F-35 training to date.


Video by Staff Sgt. Tarelle Walker:33rd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs