Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Eglin slates boat, flight operations

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group will conduct boat operations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay Feb. 8-11. Preparatory boat operations will take place in the bay today. Each morning, fighters will release munitions between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. about eight to 20 nautical miles south of Destin in the Gulf of Mexico. Notices to mariners will be issued prior to the missions and flyers will be handed out at the local marina. In the afternoons between 1 and 5 p.m., about 30 boats travelling in formation will transverse between the Mid-Bay Bridge and the Highway 331 Bridge. The boat formation will be used as targets by F-15s and F-16s flying over the area. No weapons or ammunition will be involved with this boat formation. Some boat operators will be dressed in various military uniforms and white costumes. They will carry rubber rifles, painted in high visible colors which will be kept out-of-view when transiting to and from the mission area. Some boats will have fake deck guns and rocket launcher tubes. The boats will also use marine flares as visual markers. These operations are part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapon System Evaluation Program. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 02/01/16)