138th Fighter Wing & 148th Fighter Wing at the Savannah Air Dominance Center and a NASA 809 Update

Savannah – Last month, I posted about NASA 809, one of NASA’s ER-2 research aircraft working out of Hunter AAF in Savannah. During my days off in Savannah this week, I was able to identify a frequency in use by NASA 809 and its support crews. Late last week and early this week, more aircraft arrived for temporary duty in Savannah. Last week, F-16Cs from the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota ANG arrived at the Savannah Air Dominance Center at Savannah-Hilton Head Airport and they were joined early this week by F-16Cs from the 138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma ANG. Additionally, two KC-135s from the 190th Air Refueling Wing, Kansas ANG are working out of Hunter AAF. This could be a Sentry Savannah exercise, but between the weather and other things, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to monitor and figure out whether it is or isn’t.

138th Fighter Wing

The 138th FW F-16Cs have been working both offshore in the SEALORD controlled W-Areas and in the Coastal MOA/Townsend Range. When in the Coastal MOA, they’ve been working with VMFA-312 F/A-18Cs from MCAS Beaufort. On Wednesday morning, there was some very interesting activity in the Coastal MOA where 138th FW flights and VMFA-312 flights split up into 1×1 fights between F-16 and F/A-18, after which some of the pairs joined as mixed flights – CHECK 62/LOCO 01 (F/A-18C, VMFA-312/F-16C, 138th FS) and CHECK 61/LOCO 02 (F/A-18C, VMFA-312/F-16C, 139th FS) – and went to MCAS Beaufort. That afternoon, 138th FW flights worked in W-137, but I wasn’t around the shack to monitor them so I wasn’t able to log any frequencies or hear what they were doing.

237.000 – Savannah ADC Ops
293.300 – ADC Discrete; 138th FW Air-to-Air
363.900 – ADC Discrete; 138th FW Air-to-Air

282.200 – Jacksonville Center Jekyll Low
363.200 – Jacksonville Center Savannah Low
228.400 – Townsend Range/Coastal MOAs
284.500 – SEALORD North Primary

LOCO – F-16C, 138th FW
TRIBE – F-16C, 138th FW
CHECK – F/A-18C, VMFA-312

148th Fighter Wing

The 148th FW F-16s have been offshore in the SEALORD controlled W-Areas with, I think, F-15s from the 125th FW, Florida ANG and maybe some F/A-18s from MCAS Beaufort. I’ve heard them 148th FW F-16s off an on over the last week, but I haven’t had the opportunity to get a good chance to listen to them. They seem to be supported by two 190th ARW KC-135s that are working out of Hunter AAF.

237.000 – Savannah ADC Ops
293.300 – ADC Discrete; 148th FW Air-to-Air
328.500 – ADC Discrete; 148th FW Air-to-Air
379.800 – ADC Discrete; 148th FW Air-to-Air

282.200 – Jacksonville Center Jekyll Low
363.200 – Jacksonville Center Savannah Low
120.950 – SEALORD North Primary
284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
267.500 – SEALORD South Primary

WOLF – F-16C, 148th FW
ZIPGUN – F-16C, 148th FW
FANG – F-16C, 125th FW
GATOR – F-16C, 125th FW
WYLIE – KC-135R, 190th ARW

It’s possible that at least part of this activity is a Sentry Savannah exercise; that activity from the 148th FW and 190th ARW particularly looks Sentry Savannah-ish and there have been Sentry Savannah exercises in early February in years past. I just haven’t heard enough of it to figure whether it is or not (yesterday was a washout because of the storms that moved through).

NASA 809

NASA 809 flew a mission on Wednesday, departing Hunter AAF in the early afternoon and returning after dark. I missed the departure while I was away from the shack, but I caught in returning to Hunter on Wednesday evening just after I got home from giving my mother a ride home from church. While watching it (or its lights, actually) fly past the neighborhood while on approach to Runway 28 at Hunter, I caught it with its support crews on 135.825. I’m usually asleep when it takes off and getting ready for work around the time NASA 809 returns, so I’m not sure how often or how much they’ve been using the frequency, but if you’re trying to track their flights, it would be worth keeping an ear on it.



Categories: 138th FW, 148th FW, Air Dominance Center, Callsigns, ER-2, F-16, Frequencies, Hunter AAF, KC-135, Military Monitoring, NASA, Savannah IAP, Scanning, Sentry Savannah

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