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Fighter jets flocking to Hawaii for combat exercise

An increase in fighter aircraft activity will be seen beginning next week as part of a new round of the recurring Sentry Aloha exercise, the Hawaii National Guard said.

“Sentry Aloha is an ongoing series of exercises, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, involving multiple types of aircraft and services,” the Guard said in a release.

This Sentry Aloha iteration will involve more than 800 personnel and more than 30 aircraft from Hawaii and five other states. The exercise will run through the first week of April.

F-22 Raptors, C-17 cargo carriers and KC-135 refuelers from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam are taking part, along with F-15s, F-16s, refueling tankers and C-130 cargo aircraft from the mainland.

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 U.S. warfighters with the skillsets necessary to perform their homeland defense and overseas combat missions,” the Hawaii Guard said.

The 154th Wing is the largest Air National Guard wing in the nation. 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. The Air Guard is also responsible for maintaining a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year vigil of Hawaii’s airspace against any external threats.

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