MDTC Underway at MCAS Beaufort

Savannah – Yesterday morning’s monitoring indicated that there’s MDTC (Marine Division Tactics Course) underway at MCAS Beaufort. An MDTC usually takes place in January and this year seems to be no different. Flights of MAG-31 F/A-18s using the callsigns LATCH and SALEM (callsigns traditionally used by MDTC flights at MCAS Beaufort) and VMFAT-501 F-5Ns using the callsign VIPER were working in offshore SUAs yesterday morning. I didn’t hear SALEMs, LATCHes, or SNIPERs on Friday, so I’m guessing the MDTC flying started yesterday and will likely continue through the rest of the month.

If you’re interested in listening to the activity, here’s what I heard in use yesterday morning:

MCAS Beaufort Frequencies
292.125 – Beaufort App/Dep
269.125 – Beaufort App/Dep

SEALORD Frequencies
284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
313.700 – SEALORD North Secondary
349.800 – W-137 Discrete
376.900 – W-137 Discrete
385.300 – W-137 Discrete
318.600 – SEALORD Discrete

MAG-31/VMFT-401 Frequencies
283.400 – VMFA-115 Base; LATCH/SALEM flights for Base traffic
304.200 – MAG-31; LATCH/SALEM flights for Base traffic
310.200 – VMFA(AW)-553 Base; LATCH/SALEM flight Base traffic
228.300 – MDTC Air-to-Air (normally VMFA-224 Tac 1)
264.925 – MDTC Air-to-Air (normally VMFT-401 Tac)
274.500 – MDTC Air-to-Air (normally VMFA-115 Tac 3)
336.225 – MDTC Air-to-Air (normally VMFA-115 Tac 3
376.425 – MDTC Air-to-Air (normally VMFA-251 Tac 3)
348.825 – VMFT-401 Air-to-Air (normally VMFA-533 Tac 3)

MCAS Beaufort F/A-18 and F-35 Squadron Frequency Changes

Brunswick – The USMC MAG-31 F/A-18 squadrons and the F-35B FRS squadron at MCAS Beaufort have recently undergone a number of air-to-air and Base frequency changes, leading to an update of my Milair page, but I thought I would also make those changes a blog post as well. A basic overview is that VMFA-115 has changed their Base (squadron ops) frequency and have a possible new air-to-air frequency, VMFA(AW)-224 changed one of their air-to-air frequencies, VMFA-251 changed one of their air-to-air frequencies, VMFA-312 has changed their Base and air-to-air frequencies, and VMFA(AW)-553 has changed one of their air-to-air frequencies. The changes are detailed below:

CHECK 61/62 (F/A-18C, VMFA-312) over the Savannah NWR while on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head Airport

MCAS Beaufort
119.050/342.875 – Tower
269.125/123.700 – Beaufort Approach/Departure
292.125/125.125 – Beaufort Approach/Departure
281.800 – Base Ops
264.500 – PMSV

Aircraft: F/A-18
Callsign: BLADE
283.400 – VMFA-115 Base
339.500 – VMFA-115 Tac 1
225.675 – VMFA-115 Tac 2
274.500 – VMFA-115 Tac 3
225.875 – Possible new VMFA-115 Tac

Aircraft: F/A-18D
Callsign: BENGAL
305.800 – VMFA(AW)-224 Base
228.300 – VMFA(AW)-224 Tac 1
258.900 – VMFA(AW)-224 Tac 2
336.225 – VMFA(AW)-224 Tac 3

Aircraft: F/A-18C
Callsign: TBOLT
313.800 – VMFA-251 Base
251.400 – VMFA-251 Tac 1
327.475 – VMFA-251 Tac 2
376.425 – VMFA-251 Tac 3

Aircraft: F/A-18C
Callsign: CHECK
262.700 – VMFA-312 Base
299.275 – VMFA-312 Tac 1
289.275 – VMFA-312 Tac 2

Aircraft: F-35B
343.200 – VMFAT-501 Base
326.700 – VMFAT-501 Tac 1
349.225 – VMFAT-501 Tac 2
341.825 – VMFAT-501 Tac 3

Aircraft: F/A-18D
Callsign: HAWK
310.200 – VMFA(AW)-533 Base
234.075 – VMFA(AW)-533 Tac 1
299.300 – VMFA(AW)-533 Tac 2
348.825 – VMFA(AW)-533 Tac 3

Interesting F/A-18 and F-15C Air-to-Ground Combat Training at Townsend Range and the Coastal MOA

Savannah – Over the last few days, from both home and from the mobile station, I have had the chance to listen to some very interesting air-to-ground combat training from Townsend Range and the Coastal MOA between Savannah and Brunswick in coastal Georgia. F/A-18s based out of MCAS Beaufort along with F/A-18s from NASJRB Fort Worth, TX have been working with ground assets LIGHTNING AIR and JUSTICE. I’m not sure who LIGHTNING AIR is, but JUSTICE seems to be either a JTAC or TACP. That in itself isn’t unusual, but what makes this activity so interesting is that F-15Cs from the 125th FW at Jacksonville IAP have been participating as well. This is the first time that I’ve heard the 125th FW F-15s working with JTACs or TACPs or with a FAC-A as they did yesterday afternoon.

There has been morning, afternoon, and night activity at Townsend Range this week involving all of the units I mentioned above, but the common denominators have been COWBOY ## (F/A-18A+) flights VMFA-112 and LIGHTNING AIR/JUSTICE. HAWK 8# (F/A-18D) flights from VMFA(AW)-533 at Beaufort and FANG 0# and GATOR 0# (F-15C) from the 125th FW at Jacksonville have joined them on the morning and afternoon sorties while TBOLT 5# (F/A-18C) flights have joined them during the night sorties. There has also been tanker support from RANGER 41 and RANGER 45 (KC-130J, VMGR-234) during the afternoon and night sorties. VMFA-112 is working out of MCAS Beaufort and VMGR-234 has been working out of Savannah IAP.

So far, the aircraft have been checking in to Townsend Range and the Coastal MOA on 228.400, then switching to either 252.900 or 226.975 to work with LIGHTNING AIR and JUSTICE. Aerial Refueling with the KC-130Js has been on one of VMGR-234’s frequencies – 289.800, which has also been used for air-to-air traffic between the two VMGR-234 aircraft. The VMFA-112 F/A-18s have been using 250.300 for their air-to-air traffic, but I’m not sure if it’s one of their assigned frequencies or if they’re borrowing it from MAG-31 while they’re here (it is a MAG-31 frequency). Otherwise, usual Base/Ops/Air-to-Air frequencies have been in use:

251.400 – VMFA-251 Tac 1
310.200 – VMFA(AW)-533 Base
234.075 – VMFA(AW)-533 Tac 1
299.300 – VMFA(AW)-533 Tac 2
251.250 – 125th FW Ops
273.900 – 125th FW SOF
234.800 – 125th FW Aux 5
253.700 – 125th FW Aux 6

The most fascinating part of this activity has been the participation of the F-15Cs from Jacksonville. I’ve been listening to the unit since around 1998 and this is the first time I’ve heard them do air-to-ground training with a JTAC or TACP like they have with JUSTICE. Some of it has been direct with JUSTICE and at other times it’s been through HAWK 8# acting as a FAC-A. I haven’t heard them drop bombs or launch missiles or rockets, I’ve just heard them do strafe runs at targets, but they have been checking in with both LITENING or Sniper pods. It’s been fascinating to listen to the 125th FW do something that’s outside of their normal Air-to-Air combat training and I hope it’s something they’ll do more often; I’ll be listening out for it!

Sentry Savannah Photos; 1 February 2018

Savannah – After breakfast yesterday morning, I drove out to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport to catch the Sentry Savannah aircraft recovering to Savannah from their morning sorties. When I first got to my spot (the old Applebee’s at SR 21/SR 307), the airport was using Runway 10, which meant that aircraft were taking off towards me and it wasn’t going to be a good spot to catch the fighters when they returned. I hung around a few minutes and caught the last departing fighters for the morning: VFA-143 F/A-18Es and 2nd FTS T-38s.


F/A-18E from VFA-143 climbing out of Savannah-Hilton Head IAP almost vertically, if you look closely you can see the afterburner trails


2nd FTS T-38 departing Savannah-Hilton Head Airport, this one stood out because they apparently replaced its left landing gear doors and haven’t gotten around to painting them to match the rest of the aircraft yet


F/A-18E from VFA-143 climbing out of Savannah-Hilton Head IAP vertically, if you look closely you can see the afterburner trails


After watching the last of the F/A-18Es and T-38s take off, I went around to the other side of the airport and found a good spot behind the Sam Sneads restaurant on Airport Rd. to watch the approach end of Runway 28. While I was there, a handful of T-38s and a flight of F/A-18Es returned; I didn’t get any good photos of the T-38s, but I did catch a good photo of one of the F/A-18Es.


F/A-18E, 168920, VFA-143 on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


After the F/A-18Es came in, the airport decided to switch runways to Runway 28, so it was back to my first spot. Once I was back at the old Applebee’s, 43rd FS F-22s, VFA-143 F/A-18Es, 2nd FTS T-38s, and 125th FW F-15s began to come back. It’s been awhile since I had the chance to watch any fighters, so it was fun to watch these come back and get some photos as they did. I had my Uniden BCD436HP scanning Savannah tower and the approach/departure frequencies so I could tell when each flight was coming and be ready.


F/A-18E, 168921, VFA-143 on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


43rd FS F-22A on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


43rd FS F-22A on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


Flight of 4 125th F-15Cs passing over Savannah-Hilton Head IAP before they broke formation for landing


F-22A, 01-4019, 43rd FS on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-22A, 01-4019, 43rd FS on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-15C, 86-0152, 125th FW on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-15C, 86-0152, 125th FW on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-15C, 86-0127, 125th FW on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-15C, 86-0143, on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


F-15C, 86-0177, 125th FW on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


T-38, 68-8139, 2nd FTS on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP



Sentry Savannah Update; 2 February 2018

Savannah – After another day of monitoring the Sentry Savannah exercise and a ride out to the airport to watch the morning sorties recover, I have some updates on the frequencies and callsigns in use. 314.300 became an interesting frequency; on 31 January I thought the 159th FW F-15s were using it, but on 1 February, it was definitely being used by VFA-143 F/A-18Es. For now, I’m going to show it in use by both. Unfortunately, I’m not sure when I’ll have another opportunity to listen in so this may or may not be the last update on this Sentry Savannah. As always, if anyone has any additions or corrections, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.


43rd FS F-22A on approach to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP


119.100/257.800 – Savannah IAP Tower
124.975/279.575 – Hunter AAF Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah Approach/Departure
125.300/371.875 – Savannah Approach/Departure
118.400/307.225 – Savannah Approach/Departure

269.550/124.700 – Jax Center Columbia Low
281.550 – Jax Center Georgetown High
282.200/124.675 – Jax Center Jekyll Low
282.300/135.975 – Jax Center Alma High
285.650/126.125 – Jax Center Statesboro High
363.200/132.925 – Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low

120.950/284.500 – Sealord North Primary
133.950/267.500 – Sealord South Primary

288.400 – NORAD Discrete; Check-In
293.600 – NORAD Discrete; Blue Air
316.300 – NORAD Discrete; Red Air
265.400 – NORAD Discrete; Aerial Refueling
278.000 – Aerial Refueling

237.000 – ADC Ops; 43rd FS Ops
256.850 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
288.900 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
352.100 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air

290.000 – Old VMFA-251 Tac 1; 2nd FTS Ops
320.600 – 2nd FTS Air-to-Air

350.657 – North TACTS Range; VFA-143 Base
268.500 – VMFA-143 Tac
314.300 – VMFA-143 Tac
357.000 – VMFA-143 Tac

298.300 – 169th FW Ops
141.825 – 169th FW V14
140.125 – 169th FW V15

251.250 – 125th FW Ops
234.800 – 125th FW Aux 5
253.700 – 125th FW Aux 6

314.300 – 159th FW Air-to-Air

139.2125 ($293) – ADC; visiting unit aircraft maintenance/support
139.4125 ($293) – ADC; VFA-143 maintenance/support
141.6375 ($293) – ADC; 43rd FS maintenance/support
142.3625 ($293) – ADC; visiting unit aircraft maintenance/support


RAPTOR ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)
SAVAGE ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)
STINGER ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)

BEAGLE ## (T-38, 2nd FTS)
HOUND ## (T-38, 2nd FTS)

GRIFFIN ## (F/A-18E, VFA-143)
TAPROOM ## (F/A-18E, VFA-143)

MACE ## (F-16CM, 169th FW)

FANG ## (F-15C, 125th FW)
GATOR ## (F-15C, 125th FW)

JAZZ ## (F-15C, 159th FW)

DIXIE 10 (KC-135R, 63-8035, 117th ARW)
HUSKER 33 (KC-135R, 59-1495, 155th ARW)
SODA 55 (KC-135R, 59-1505, 134th ARW)

DOGHOUSE (325th FW Schoolhouse)