By Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar, 173rd Fighter Wing
/ Published October 09, 2019
A U.S. Air Force pilot, 173rd Fighter Wing, prepares to taxi onto the runway during the Sentry Eagle exercise, July 22, 2017, at Kingsley Field, Ore. The Sentry Eagle Exercise was conducted simultaneously with an open house event open to the public. This year's exercise involved F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, and F-35s. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Penny Snoozy)
Crowds gather at the flightline to view flight operations during the Sentry Eagle Open House held July 22, 2017 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Sentry Eagle is a four day large force exercise that brings together different aircraft and units from around the country for dissimilar air combat training. Additionally, the wing opens its gates to the public for a day during their biennial open house. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)
People crowd around a static display F-15 Eagle from the 173rd Fighter Wing during the Sentry Eagle Open House held July 22, 2017 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Sentry Eagle is a four day large force exercise that brings together different aircraft and units from around the country for dissimilar air combat training. Additionally, the wing opens its gates to the public for a day during their biennial open house. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)
The 173rd Fighter Wing will host the 17th Sentry Eagle air-to-air combat exercise July 15 to 19, 2020. Additionally, the public is invited to enjoy a wide variety of fighter aircraft, military operations, and static displays during the Open House on Saturday, 18 July and admission is free.
Sentry Eagle, one of the Air National Guard’s largest air-to-air exercises, provides military pilots of the National Guard, Active Duty and Reserve components a forum in which to test their flying skills including basic fighter maneuvers and air combat tactics against different types of aircraft, close-air support and large-force employment training.
“The goal of this year’s Sentry Eagle is to operate in a joint-service exercise that harnesses the integration of 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft while operating in a highly contested environment,” said Lt. Col. Adam Gaudinski, project officer for this event. “Kingsley Field, along with its world-class airspace, is one of the best areas to train in the world. This year we are conducting multi-domain operations to ensure the Joint-Force has a competitive advantage over a near-peer adversary.”
In layman’s terms Gaudinski says, “We are training to fly, fight, and win. No exceptions.”
Gaudinski expects over 50 aircraft to be in the skies over Oregon, honing and forging their skills, but noted the amount of effort that takes place to make this happen. “Over eight months of planning will go into this event,” said Gaudinski. “Hundreds of Kingsley personnel will work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure safe planning, coordination, and execution. There is a reason why we call ourselves Team Kingsley; no single person can achieve what we do together.”
On Saturday, July 18th, Kingsley Field will open its doors to the public during an Open House. Visitors will be able to see aerial demonstrations, view aircraft on display, take part in activities, and watch aircraft head out on their missions.
“The Open House is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our local community,” said Gaudinski. “Klamath Falls is the most supportive community that I have ever seen in my time with the Air Force and Air Guard. They are our wingman and we couldn’t do it without them.”
Sentry Eagle is typically held every two years and was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2019. However, construction projects on the ramp, flight line, and across the base prevented it from happening this year.
“We will keep you up-to-date as the planning continues for Sentry Eagle 2020,” said Gaudinski. “We have several surprises to reveal, so stay tuned!”