20th Fighter Wing UHF Air-to-Air Update

Brunswick – Last week, I posted about the 20th Fighter Wing moving to UHF air-to-air frequencies from VHF. I got some good feedback from readers offering what they’ve heard, so I thought I would post an updated list:

228.800 – 55th FS Air-to-Air
236.150 – 55th FS Air-to-Air

274.875 – 77th FS Air-to-Air
314.100 – 77th FS Air-to-Air

276.150 – possible 79th FS Air-to-Air

228.275 – reported in use by 20th FW F-16s
242.000 – reported in use by 20th FW F-16s
259.900 – reported in use by 20th FW F-16s
270.900 – reported in use by 20th FW F-16s

384.550 – F-16 Demo Team

I’ll be keeping an ear on the possible 79th FS and 20th FW Air-to-Airs in an attempt to help confirm and ID the squadron using them. Thanks to Jared Soergel on Twitter and Scannerman2016 by email for the feedback and information; if I get any more or are able to find anything further, I’ll post another update.

20th Fighter Wing F-16s Moving From VHF to UHF for Air-to-Air Frequencies

Savannah – Last month, I got a post comment from a reader mentioning the lack of activity on VHF air-to-air frequencies from 20th Fighter Wing F-16CMs from Shaw AFB working in the Bulldog MOA. I’d been noticing the same trend over the course of this year as well so I’ve been searching when home in Savannah (I don’t receive activity from Shaw F-16s from Brunswick due to its distance from their usual operating areas). So far I’ve found a couple of UHF air-to-airs for the 55th Fighter Squadron and the 77th Fighter Squadron but none yet for the 79th Fighter Squadron:

228.800 – 55th FS Air-to-Air
236.150 – 55th FS Air-to-Air

274.875 – 77th FS Air-to-Air
314.100 – 77th FS Air-to-Air

I’ll keep on searching when I’m in Savannah and post updates as I find anything. If anyone else happens to find some UHF air-to-air frequencies for the Shaw F-16s, post them in the comments, tweet them to me, post them on the Facebook page, or send me an email at kf4lmt @ gmail.

S.C. Air National Guard Assumes Alert Mission

by Senior Airman Alexandria Mosness
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/11/2011 – SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — The 20th Fighter Wing turned over responsibility for the air sovereignty alert mission to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., May 6.

The 20th FW took control of the alert mission Sept. 11, 2001 to Nov. 15, 2003 and again from Aug. 1, 2006 to May 9, 2011.

The alert mission is a critical component to the strategic force that is poised 24/7 to respond to airborne threats over the United States. The ASA mission requires three dedicated armed alert aircraft (two primaries and one spare) at each of the alert locations, with two pilots and associated maintenance and support personnel on duty 24/7.

“Shaw’s role in the alert mission was to defend the Southeast Air Defense Sector and the 79 million American citizens within that sector from airborne threats,” said Col. James Sears, 20th Operations Group commander.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the Air Force’s newest alert site and the South Carolina Air National Guard’s assumption of an important homeland defense mission.

“I want to thank the 20th FW for meeting the challenge despite all the other things I know you have to do,” said Maj. Gen. Garry Dean, commander for the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – 1st Air Force, who spoke at the ceremony. “It’s been an outstanding run.”

While the 20th FW will continue to get tasked, Dean encouraged Shaw to take time to focus on developing Airmen and sharpen the human side of the war-fighting spear.

“We have led this mission without receiving any additional manpower, equipment, funding, or flying hours,” Sears said. “With the 169th FW standup, we will be able to bring the manpower and resources which have been dedicated to the alert mission into our daily training and to upcoming area of responsibility deployments.”

The changes for the 20th FW might seem minor to some, but will relieve pressure on the high operations tempo at Shaw, Sears said.

“For our defenders, it means one less post they must stand,” Sears said. “For our maintenance professionals, it means the return of a large pool of very experienced men and women who will be returned to the flight line. For the operations group, this will mean a return to normal day-to-day operations for our aircrew flight, equipment technicians, airfield operations and scheduling and air traffic control personnel. Our pilots will be able to spend more time focusing on the primary counter-air mission of the (wing).”

As the 20th FW passes the alert mission to McEntire, Sears expressed Shaw’s best wishes and great expectations.

“We wish the 169th FW and the (South Carolina) ANG the best as they take on this critical mission of defending the southeast United States,” Sears said.

(The 169th FW, SCANG, public affairs office also contributed to the story.)

Shaw AFB ORE?

Shaw Air Force Base may be having an ORE (Operational Readiness Exercise). F-16s from the 55th Fighter Squadron and the 79th Fighter Squadron have been flying missions to Townsend Range, the Bulldog MOA, and W-161/177 the last few days. On return from these missions, they have been heard making mission reports on the Shaw Command Post frequency. The actiivty on the Command Post frequency in particular seems consistent with ORE/ORI type traffic.

381.300 – Shaw Command Post
311.200 – 55th FS Ops
139.975 – 55th FS air-to-air
141.650 – 55th FS air-to-air
141.900 – 55th FS air-to-air
320.525 – 79th FS Ops
139.700 – 79th FS air-to-air
141.550 – 79th FS air-to-air
141.600 – 79th FS air-to-air
141.700 – 79th FS air-to-air

228.400 – Townsend Range
343.750 – Bulldog MOA
279.575 – DOUBLESHOT (W-161/177)
258.400 – DOUBLESHOT (W-161/177)
381.350 – DOUBLESHOT (W-161/177)

Mac McCormick III, KF4LMT
kf4lmt@comcast.net

20th Fighter Wing Air-to-Air Changes

Late in July, I posted about the change of Shaw AFB’s VHF SOF frequency. For the last few weeks, I have been intermittently tracking changes in Shaw’s 20th Fighter Wing air-to-air frequencies. Unfortunately my schedule hasn’t let me identify a lot of the changes I have noted that the 55th Fighter Squadron and the 79th Fighter Squadron have been using new air-to-air frequencies:

138.100 – 55th FS air-to-air
141.650 – 55th FS air-to-air
142.400 – 55th FS air-to-air

139.925 – 79th FS air-to-air (previously used by 77th FS)
141.550 – 79th FS air-to-air

It will take some time monitoring these frequencies to determine preset numbers. If anyone happens to hear any preset numbers for the above or if you hear any other new air-to-air frequencies for the 20th FW, please pass them on.

Mac McCormick, KF4LMT
kf4lmt@comcast.net