Yes, It’s For Largest Ever Red Flag Air War Exercise
The USAF’s Aerial war games are just kicking off at Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas this week. This is the largest event in the exercise’s 42-years history and will be different than any event in the past.
So what’s different about this year? Well the USAF is going to blackout GPS over the Nevada Test and Training Range in order to challenge aircrews and their weaponry under realistic fighting conditions. In a report from The Drive, Tyler Rogoway discusses the event, stating, “The Pentagon has mysteriously tested technology that can jam GPS over a wide area before, and it is likely that this same capability will be put to use in the Nellis Test and Training Range for this Red Flag 18-1”. He goes on to say “The fact that the Department of Defense is going to execute wide-spread GPS jamming operations during such a high-end exercise is more proof of just how big of a threat these emerging electronic warfare tactics pose.”
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The disruptions will begin on January 26th and will run through February 16th. Flying.com reports:
“The NBAA Command Center reports the U.S. military will begin training exercises on the Nevada Test and Training Range between 0400Z until 0700Z daily. Training maneuvers will impact vast portions of the Western U.S. including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico. FAA enroute ATC centers affected include Albuquerque (ZAB), Denver (ZDV), Los Angeles (ZLA), Salt Lake (ZLC), Oakland (ZOA) and Seattle (ZSE). Operations in R-2508 and R-2501 may also be impacted.
Arrivals and departures from airports within the Las Vegas area may be issued non-Rnav re-routes with the possibility of increased traffic disruption near LAS requiring airborne re-routes to the south and east of the affected area. Aircraft operating in Los Angeles (ZLA) center airspace may experience navigational disruption, including suspension of Descend-via and Climb-via procedures. Non-Rnav SIDs and STARs may be issued within ZLA airspace in the event of increased navigational disruption. Crews should expect the possibility of airborne mile-in-trail and departure mile-in-trail traffic management initiatives.”
You can read the entire article by clicking here. As a UAV operator, you should be aware of these test and be up to speed on what’s going on. If you are located in the surrounding area please be advised that should you practice flying your aircraft, you need to be in non-GPS or ATTI mode during these Airfare exercises.