Tyndall Air Force Base hosts Checkered Flag training exercise

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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Fighter pilots from all over the country are taking off from Tyndall Air Force Base for the next couple weeks. For the second time, Tyndall is holding Checkered Flag exercises on base.

"The opportunity to train together is key because it builds teamwork and makes us integrated, efficient, effective and into an effective fighting force overall and far more lethal as a consequence, good for America," said Colonel Randy Cason, Commander, 44th Fighter Group, Tyndall Air Force Base.

Checkered Flag gives the Air Force the opportunity to train with fighter pilots from all across the nation. Colonel Cason says having the training at Tyndall offers a unique advantage.

"From north to south are in access of 120-130 miles and east west nearing 250 miles wide and that's the type and size of air space that we require to fully train to our capabilities," said Colonel Cason.

Colonel Cason tells NewsChannel 7 F22 Raptors take off they're going around 140 miles per hour. By the time they hit the clouds, they're going about 400 miles an hour.

Cason said, "In the game of baseball you need a bat to hit the ball, you need a glove to catch the ball, but if the F22 were a bat and the F35 were a glove you can't hit very well with a glove or catch very well with a bat, you need both to play the game."

The weather in Florida does present some unique challenges.

"We go from 30 degree weather to 75 degree weather, raining, storming, so our guys are out there overcoming the weather and working through that," said Captain Matthew Goldey, Checkered Flag 17-1 Maintenance Commander. "They're 5th generation like you said, they're flying computers so they can be finicky in those kind of environments."

It's a great opportunity for the military to create realistic scenarios for training.

"Here we're training against the highest threats, the most aggressive threats that we know about out there," said Major Michael Frye, Checkered Flag 17-1 Key Planner.