Friday, March 13, 2015

Training exercise slated

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron will conduct flight and boat operations in the Gulf of Mexico eight to 20 miles south of Destin and in Choctawhatchee Bay March 16-19. The operations are part of the 53rd Wing's weapon system evaluation program. Fighter aircraft will release munitions in the morning between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. about eight to 20 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Around 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the bay, about 30 boats will be used as visual targets by fighter aircraft and helicopters flying mid to low level. The boats traveling in formation will transverse between the Mid-Bay Bridge and the Highway 331 Bridge and also eight to 20 miles south of Destin in the Gulf of Mexico. No munitions will be involved, but some boat operators will be dressed in various uniforms and costumes and may carry rubber rifles painted in highly visible colors. Some boats will have simulated, fake deck guns and rocket launcher tubes. The boats may use marine flares as visual markers. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 03/13/15) A similar exercise was held in early February.