Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Military exercise set for bay, Gulf

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron will conduct flight and boat operations Feb. 9-12 in the Gulf of Mexico some eight to 20 miles south of Destin and in Choctawhatchee Bay. The operations are part of the 53rd Wing's Weapon System Evaluation Program. Fighter aircraft will release munitions between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Gulf of Mexico within a cordoned, cleared surface range safety corridor. In the afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m., about 30 boats will be used as visual targets by fighter aircraft and helicopters flying mid to low level altitudes. No weapons or ammunition will be involved in the flights in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Some boat operators will be dressed in various military uniforms and white 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. Notices to mariners will be issued prior to the missions and flyers will be handed out at the local marina. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 02/04/15)