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Fighter exercise Sentry Aloha 19-1 completed

Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors from the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons taxi down the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flight line Dec. 11, 2018

Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors from the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons taxi down the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flight line Dec. 11, 2018, during fighter-exercise Sentry Aloha. Sentry Aloha entails back-to-back training sorties with visiting fighter units from the U.S. Navy and other Air National Guard partners from nine states. It also provides participants a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Service Airmen from the 154th Mission Support Group prepare meals for visiting members of Sentry Aloha Dec. 8, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Service Airmen from the 154th Mission Support Group prepare meals for visiting members of Sentry Aloha Dec. 8, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. This is the first time the Dining Facility has been activated, with more than 20 staff, to feed hundreds of visiting Airmen. The locally prepared food helped to cut down exercise costs, save time and help prepare the service Airmen for upcoming deployments, slated for next year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor approaches a Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker to receive aerial refueling Dec. 11, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean, near the Hawaiian Islands

A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor approaches a Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker to receive aerial refueling Dec. 11, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean, near the Hawaiian Islands. Sentry Aloha provides tailored, cost effective and realistic combat training for U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and other Department of Defense services to provide warfighters with the skill sets necessary to perform their homeland defense and overseas combat missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Master Sgt. Anthony Walter, 128th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, conducts air refueling operations with an U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet Dec. 12, 2018

Master Sgt. Anthony Walter, 128th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, conducts air refueling operations with an U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet Dec. 12, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise. The KC-135 Stratotanker offloaded 26,000 pounds of fuel to the visiting Hornets, from China Lake, during the training sortie. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mysti Bicoy)

The 128th Air Refueling Squadron’s KC-135 Stratotanker prepares to refuel a Navy F/A-18 Hornet from China Lakes as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise, Dec. 12, 2018

The 128th Air Refueling Squadron’s KC-135 Stratotanker prepares to refuel a Navy F/A-18 Hornet from China Lakes as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise, Dec. 12, 2018. The KC-135 Stratotanker offloaded 26,000 pounds of fuel utlilizing a boom drogue to the F/A-18 Hornets.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mysti Bicoy)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from China Lake, California, takes off from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 18, 2018

A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from China Lake, California, takes off from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 18, 2018. Sentry Aloha provides U.S. warfighters with the skill sets necessary to perform homeland defense and overseas combat missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

An F-15 Eagle from the Oregon Air National Guard, flies over the Pacific during an air refueling mission during Sentry Aloha 19-1 Dec. 13, 2018

An F-15 Eagle from the Oregon Air National Guard, flies over the Pacific during an air refueling mission during Sentry Aloha 19-1 Dec. 13, 2018. Sentry Aloha is an ongoing series of exercises hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing enabling tailored, cost effective and realistic combat training for the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force, and other Department of Defense services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

Maj. Mike Dirnberger and Capt. Andy Jaskie, Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker pilots, fly over the Pacific during an air refueling mission during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 13, 2018.

Maj. Mike Dirnberger and Capt. Andy Jaskie, Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker pilots, fly over the Pacific during an air refueling mission during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 13, 2018. Sentry Aloha is an ongoing series of exercises hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing enabling tailored, cost effective and realistic combat training for the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force, and other Department of Defense services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the Wisconsin Air National Guard prepares for takeoff during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 13, 2018. Sentry Aloha 19-1 exercises have been conducted by the HIANG for over 20 years.

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the Wisconsin Air National Guard prepares for takeoff during Sentry Aloha 19-1, Dec. 13, 2018. Sentry Aloha 19-1 exercises have been conducted by the HIANG for over 20 years. This iteration of the exercise will involve more than 800 personnel and 30 aircraft from nine states and 12 different military units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagle, from the 142nd Fighter Wing, taxis toward the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam runway Dec. 10, 2018
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An Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagle, from the 142nd Fighter Wing, taxis toward the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam runway Dec. 10, 2018, while a Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor takes off toward Ohau’s iconic landmark, Diamond Head. Daily training missions have been held as part of the fighter exercise, Sentry Aloha. The routine exercise provides tailored, cost effective and realistic combat training for U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and other Department of Defense services to provide U.S. warfighters with the skill sets necessary to perform their homeland defense and overseas combat missions.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard crew chiefs depart the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flightline after prepping F-22 Raptors for flight Dec. 10, 2018
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Active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard crew chiefs depart the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flightline after prepping F-22 Raptors for flight Dec. 10, 2018, during exercise Sentry Aloha. This iteration of the exercise entails back-to-back training sorties with visiting fighter units from the U.S. Navy and other Air National Guard partners from nine states. It also provides participants a multi-faceted, joint venue with supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current, realistic integrated training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard crew chiefs observe flightline operations after prepping an F-22 Raptor for flight Dec. 10, 2018
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Active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard crew chiefs observe flightline operations after prepping an F-22 Raptor for flight Dec. 10, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during exercise Sentry Aloha. The routine exercise is held several times each year to provide aircraft with dissimilar combat training amongst participating flying units. This rendition includes the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons’ Hickam based Raptors, Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagles and U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets from China Lake, California. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet conducts air refueling operations Dec. 12, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise.
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A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet conducts air refueling operations Dec. 12, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise. The 128th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker offloaded 26,000 pounds of fuel to the visiting Hornets from China Lake, during a training sortie utilizing a boom drogue. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mysti Bicoy)

128th Air Refueling Squadron maintainers, conduct preflight maintenance on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flightline as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise, Dec. 12, 2018
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128th Air Refueling Squadron maintainers, conduct preflight maintenance on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flightline as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise, Dec. 12, 2018. The KC-135 Stratotanker offloaded 26,000 pounds of fuel utlilizing the boom drogue to F/A-18 Hornets aircraft from China Lake, during a training sortie. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mysti Bicoy)

Master Sgt. Anthony Walter, 128th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, conducts air refueling operations with an U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet Dec. 12, 2018
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Master Sgt. Anthony Walter, 128th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, conducts air refueling operations with an U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet Dec. 12, 2018, over the Pacific Ocean as part of a routine Sentry Aloha exercise. The KC-135 Stratotanker offloaded 26,000 pounds of fuel to the visiting Hornets, from China Lake, during the training sortie. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mysti Bicoy)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- More than 800 Airmen, sailors and DoD civilians from nine states completed a large-scale fighter exercise, known as Sentry Aloha, Dec. 19, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. 

The Hawaii Air National Guard exercise is held several times a year to provide aircraft with dissimilar combat training amongst participating flying and support units. The fighter aircraft consisted of the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons’ Hickam based F-22 Raptors, Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagles and U.S. Navy F-18 Hornets from China Lake, Calif.

The back-to-back combat training included in-air refueling by KC-135 Stratotankers from Iowa and Wisconsin Air National Guard air refueling units, a component that enables U.S. and partnered aircraft to operate virtually anywhere on the planet. Lt. Col. Matthew Ohman, Sentry Aloha exercise director, said the refueling capabilities maximized the fast-paced training.

“Exercises like this gives us a chance to just be part of the bigger picture and it builds confidence,” said Chief Master Sgt. Donald Strickland, 128th Air Refueling Wing chief boom operator, “especially for our younger pilots and boom operators. It gives them exposure to other types of receiving aircraft and see how quickly it all happens, opposed to the routines we’re used to at our home station. This helps us to know what to expect when it’s actually time to deploy.”

The integration of Hawaii’s fifth-generation Raptors and visiting fourth-generation fighters enabled aviators to enhance their aerial tactics and prepare for a multitude of war-fighting scenarios. The Department of Defense relies on joint efforts, such as exercise Sentry Aloha, to maintain air dominance and preserve the peace and stability throughout the Pacific region.

“Sentry Aloha is not only unique in its location in beautiful Hawaii, but it also provides some of the best joint training the Air Force has to offer,” said Ohman. “The focus of Sentry Aloha is to develop unit-specific, tailored scenarios that ensure the majority of tactical learning takes place in the airspace, not in the trenches of mission planning. This is unique from Flag exercises, which have inflexible scenarios given to units when they attend.”

While JBPH-H maintains fifth-generation fighters, it still upholds a permanent supply of aircraft-ground equipment to cater for visiting fourth-generation aircraft. Senior Master Sgt. Noel Demello, Sentry Aloha maintenance planner, said the readily-available equipment significantly lowers expenses because it reduces the need to airlift personnel and large-volumes of supplies used to generate aircraft. 

Unlike past iterations of the exercise, more than 20 personnel from the 154th Mission Support Group were activated to operate the HIANG’s dining facility and provide around-the-clock meals, including ‘midnight chow,’ for hundreds of Airmen. Tech. Sgt. Priscilla Kim, 154th MSG dining facility manager, said this was the first time her Airmen have been asked to take on a tasking this large and it provided them much-needed experience for upcoming deployments, slated for next year. The freshly-cooked meals also saved time for exercise participants and cut down costs of overall training.

Due to the unpredictable nature of aircraft operations, mission planners always need to be prepared to for the possibility of an aircraft mishap. Sentry Aloha flights were suspended for one day on Dec. 12, in response to a civilian aircraft crash into the waters by Honolulu airport. The pilot, an exercise contractor, was able to successfully eject before impact and was provided care within minutes of landing. 

“I was extremely proud to see how well we worked together after [the aircraft] went down shortly after takeoff last week,” said Ohman. “It was awesome to find out civilians from the community pitched in almost immediately to lend a helping hand in his recovery until the coast guard arrived. These extraordinary efforts by normal citizens is truly what makes me proud to be an American.”

The 199th Fighter Squadron is part of the 154th Wing, the largest wing in the Air National Guard. The Hawaii Air National Guard is comprised of nearly 2,500 Airmen whose federal mission is to be trained and available for active duty Air Force operational missions.

“Continual participation in events like this just make us a stronger force,” said Col. Sean Sullivan, Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Operations Group commander. “These exercise are essential, not only for the pilots, but for the training and expertise of the maintainers, the aircrew flight equipment [Airmen], and our airfield managers. Its a lot more than the pilot flying the airplane to make that happen, and these exercises are a crucial part of us continuing to get better, as a team and as an Air Force.”