Second Checkered Flag event of the fiscal year taking place at Tyndall Air Force Base

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:39 PM CDT
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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Dozens of planes are taking off at Tyndall Air Force Base for the second Checkered Flag event of 2022. It first took departure on Monday and will run through May 20th.

Tyndall officials said more than 1,000 airmen and sailors came to the event from around the world. This is one of the largest air-to-air exercises in the Department of Defense. The exercises aim to improve readiness for pilots and crews while giving them experience with different aircrafts.

Checkered Flag Director Mark Hayes said the airspace at the base is 250 miles long.

“We can do realistic tactics like we would actually employ in the real world, we don’t have to pretend about the distances,” Hayes said.

Tyndall officials said the aerial exercise is designed to integrate fourth- and fifth-generation airframes to enhance mobility, deployment, and capabilities. They said the exercise supports the Immediate Response Force - a worldwide, rapid response team that combats anything unforeseen.

“These are the forces that are on call six months to respond to anything in the world that the Department of Defense feels like we need to for national defense,” Hayes said.

The Checkered Flag Event is also involved with the Weapons System Evaluation Program, which allows the pilots to practice shooting missiles.

Tyndall officials said this airspace is one of the few ranges in the country capable of supporting large-scale air combat training.

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