Sentry Savannah July 2018 Update

Savannah – I haven’t had a lot of monitoring time, but I have been able to listen to a few more morning sorties and other listeners have contributed what they’ve heard, so I’ve got an update for what should be the last couple of days of the current Sentry Savannah exercise. Paul, KJ4FAV also provided a photo of COPPER 03 (KC-135R, 64-14831, 161st ARW), the Arizona ANG KC-135 providing tanker support for the exercise.

IMG_1175
COPPER 03 (KC-135R, 64-14831, 161st ARW) on approach to Hunter AAF after supporting Sentry Savannah activity off of the Georgia coast on 25 July 2018. Photo courtesy of Paul Snedeker, KJ4FAV

 

119.100/257.800 – Savannah-Hilton Head IAP Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah Approach/Departure
125.300/371.875 – Savannah Approach/Departure
124.975/279.575 – Hunter AAF Tower
126.200/285.425 – Hunter AAF Base Ops

282.200/124.675 – Jax Center Jekyll Low
282.300/135.975 – Jax Center Alma High
317.550/134.375 – Jax Center Charleston Low
285.650/126.125 – Jax Center Statesboro High
363.200/132.925 – Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low

237.000 – ADC Ops; 43rd FS “HORNET/STINGER Ops”
255.675 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
256.750 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
288.900 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
320.600 – 2nd FTS Air-to-Air

298.300 – 169th FW “SWAMP FOX Ops”
141.825 – 169th FW Air-to-Air

277.450 – 187th FW Air-to-Air
283.700 – 187th FW Air-to-Air

120.950/284.500 – Sealord North Primary
313.700 – Sealord North Secondary
288.400 – NORAD Discrete; Check-In
349.800 – W-137 Discrete; Intercepts
376.900 – W-137 Discrete; Intercepts
293.600 – NORAD Discrete; Intercepts
316.300 – NORAD Discrete; Intercepts
265.400 – NORAD Discrete; Aerial Refueling
278.000 – Aerial Refueling
RAPTOR (F-22A, 43rd FS)
SAVAGE (F-22A, 43rd FS)
STINGER (F-22A, 43rd FS)
VAPOR (F-22A, 43rd FS)
BEAGLE (T-38, 2nd FTS)
HOUND (T-38, 2nd FTS)

COPPER (KC-135R, 161st ARW)
DIXIE (KC-135R, 117th ARW)
KEYS (KC-135R, 186th ARW)

BONES (F-22A, 95th FS)

MACE (F-16CM, 169th FW)

BAMA (F-16C, 187th FW)

DOGHOUSE (325th FW Schoolhouse)
HAMMER (GCI or RTO)
KREMLIN (USMC related ground station)

 

Sentry Savannah exercises usually last two weeks, so this should be the last week of this one. The F-22s and T-38s should start returning home on Friday. If I happen to get anything new over the next couple of days, I’ll post a recap, otherwise this will likely be the last post on the July 2018 Sentry Savannah.

Third Sentry Savannah Exercise of 2018 Underway at the Savannah Air Dominance Center

Savannah – Earlier this week with my Mode-S receiver in Brunswick, I picked up a couple of KC-135s departing the Savannah area for the Special Use Areas off of Savannah.  Since KC-135s are permanent residents at Savannah IAP or Hunter AAF, that activity usually indicates that there is an exercise going on. Some of the few snippets of radio traffic I was able to pick up with a handheld scanner in Brunswick indicated that there was an exercise going on as well. In addition, I got some tweets from the Savannah area that fighter activity was being heard and seen overhead the city. All of that was a solid indication that an exercise is underway and since mid-July has seen Sentry Savannah exercises over the last few years, I assumed that is what we had this year.

Yesterday, I got back to Savannah from Brunswick and was able to listen to the activity, confirming that there is a Sentry Savannah exercise underway. This Sentry Savannah’s players include regular visitors to the Savannah Air Dominance Center, the 43rd FS and their F-22As and the 2nd FTS and their T-38s. Two KC-135s are at Hunter AAF to provide tanker support; one from the 161st ARW, Arizona ANG and one from the 117th ARW, Alabama ANG. In addition to those units flying out of Savannah, F-16s from the 169th FW at McEntire ANGB, South Carolina, and the 187th FW at Montgomery ANGB, Alabama participated. So far, they’re flying two sets of sorties a day; once in the morning around 0900/0930 and another in the afternoon around 1300/1330. Since the exercise started this week, I expect the F-22s and T-38s to be at the Air Dominance Center through next week.

For the most part, the usual Sentry Savannah frequencies seem to be in use along with usual air-to-air frequencies for the units participating. They did, however, use SEALORD W-137 discrete frequencies during yesterday’s morning sorties. Based on yesterday’s monitoring, here’s what’s in use so far:

119.100/257.800 – Savannah-Hilton Head IAP Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah Approach/Departure
125.300/371.875 – Savannah Approach/Departure
124.975/279.575 – Hunter AAF Tower
126.200/285.425 – Hunter AAF Base Ops

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

237.000 – ADC Ops; 43rd FS “HORNET/STINGER Ops”
256.750 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
288.900 – 43rd FS Air-to-Air
320.600 – 2nd FTS Air-to-Air

298.300 – 169th FW “SWAMP FOX Ops”
141.825 – 169th FW Air-to-Air

277.450 – 187th FW Air-to-Air
283.700 – 187th FW Air-to-Air

120.950/284.500 – Sealord North Primary
313.700 – Sealord North Secondary
288.400 – NORAD Discrete; Check-In
349.800 – W-137 Discrete; Intercepts
376.900 – W-137 Discrete; Intercepts
293.600 – NORAD Discrete; Intercepts
316.300 – NORAD Discrete; Intercepts
265.400 – NORAD Discrete; Aerial Refueling
278.000 – Aerial Refueling
RAPTOR (F-22A, 43rd FS)
SAVAGE (F-22A, 43rd FS)
STINGER (F-22A, 43rd FS)
VAPOR (F-22A, 43rd FS)
BEAGLE (T-38, 2nd FTS)
HOUND (T-38, 2nd FTS)

COPPER (KC-135R, 161st ARW)
DIXIE (KC-135R, 117th ARW)

MACE (F-16CM, 169th FW)

BAMA (F-16C, 187th FW)

DOGHOUSE (325th FW Schoolhouse)
HAMMER (RTO)

 

I’ll be back in Brunswick on Friday morning, so if anyone hears anything new or different over the next week and a half of Sentry Savannah activity, please send it to me and I’ll include in updated lists.

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

 

Frequencies
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

 

Callsigns
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)
KREMLIN (Red Air GCA)
DRAGON (RTO)

The First Sentry Savannah Exercise of 2018 is Underway

Savannah – It’s late January/early February so that means it’s once again time for a Sentry Savannah exercise. For this iteration, there are fourteen F-22As from the 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB, ten T-38s from the 2nd FTS at Tyndall AFB, and seven F/A-18Es from VFA-143 at NAS Oceana. They all arrived at the Air Dominance Center at Savannah-Hilton Head IAP at the end of last week and over the weekend and the exercise began this Monday. For what it’s worth, these are the same players as the Sentry Savannah exercise that occurred in January/February 2017. As usual, the exercise centers around air-to-air combat activity in the special use areas off of the South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coasts. The visiting units are being joined in the offshore airspace by local southeastern units: F-16CMs from the 169th FW at McEntire JNGB and F-15Cs from the 125th FW at Jacksonville IAP. Some F-15Cs from the 159th FW at JRB New Orleans have also been participating, but it sounded like they may have gone home this afternoon based on their routing after they left Savannah-Hilton Head IAP. Over the last few days, some of the 125th FW F-15s and the 159th FW F-15s were coming to Savannah between the morning and afternoon sorties then returning to Jacksonville IAP after the afternoon sorties. The morning sorties have been taking off around 0930 and the afternoon sorties around 1330. The fighter activity has been supported by two KC-135s from the 134th ARW from McGhee Tyson ANGB and the 155th ARW at Lincoln ANGB. This afternoon, a 117th ARW KC-135 from Birmingham ANGB also supported the fighters. Sentry Savannah usually lasts for a couple of weeks, so you’ll still be hearing them in the skies overhead for a while. If you’re interested in listening to them on the radio, you can if you have a scanner or other radio gear that will pick up the 225-400 MHz range in AM mode; here’s what to listen for:

 

Frequencies
119.100/257.800 – Savannah IAP 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

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

 

Callsigns
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)

HUSKER 33 (KC-135R, 59-1495, 155th ARW)
SODA 55 (KC-135R, 59-1505, 134th ARW)