21st FS F-16s and 14th FTW T-38s at the Savannah Air Dominance Center

21st_Fighter_SquadronSavannah – Last week, F-16s from the 21st Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB and T-38s from the 14th FTW at Columbus AFB arrived at the Georgia Air National Guard’s Air Dominance Center (ADC) at Savannah-Hilton Head IAP for training. The 21st FS, the unit that trains Taiwan Air Force F-16 pilots, has visited here for training sporadically but this is the first time that they’ve been here in a few years (the last time I’ve got them in my logs is April/May 2014). The 14th FTW T-38s seem to be here to augment their training. I didn’t get very many opportunities last week to listen to them but I did yesterday so I’m finally able to post something about them.  The F-16s have been flying as DEALER and GAMBLER flights and using ADC frequencies 140.500, 141.150, and 142.700. I also noted that they used 141.925 yesterday, but I don’t have that as one usually used at the ADC so it may be one of theirs. The T-38s have been flying as DRAGON and VENT; DRAGON flights that I’ve heard haven’t seemed to be related to the F-16s but the VENT flights have. So far, the only air-to-air frequency I found for the T-38s is 142.375. The F-16s have been working in the offshore SUAs doing air-to-air training. The VENT T-38 flights have been supporting that and I’ve heard DRAGON flights working in the Coastal MOA/Townsend Range complex. Yesterday, the DEALERs, GAMBLERs, and VENTs were training with the Florida ANG 125th FW F-15s from Jacksonville IAP using NORAD discretes 293.600 and 316.300. Here’s where you can tune in and find them:

119.100/257.800 – Savannah-Hilton Head IAP Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah Approach/Departure
125.300/371.875 – Savannah Approach/Departure
132.925/363.200 – Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low
124.675/282.200 – Jax Center Jekyll Low

120.950/284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
349.800 – W-137 Discrete
376.900 – W-137 Discrete
293.600 – NORAD Discrete
316.300 – NORAD Discrete
228.400 – Townsend Range

237.000 – ADC Ops; 21st FS Ops
140.500 – ADC; 21st FS Air-to-Air
141.150 – ADC; 21st FS Air-to-Air
142.700 – ADC; 21st FS Air-to-Air
141.925 – 21st FS Air-to-Air?
142.375 – 21st FS Air-to-Air?

251.250 – 125th FW Ops
234.800 – 125th FW Aux 5
253.700 – 125th FW Aux 6
314.200 – 125th FW Aux 7

DEALER – F-16, 21st FS
GAMBER – F-16, 21st FS
DRAGON – T-38C, 14th FTW
VENT – T-38C, 14th FTW
FANG – F-15C, 125th FW
GATOR – F-15C, 125th FW

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the T-38s have shown up on Mode-S as ADFF9D, ADFFF6, ADFF78, and ADFF8F. The F-16s and T-38s arrived last Wednesday, but I’m not sure how long they’ll be here so catch them while you can.

 

 

Gulfstream Aircraft Return to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP from Lakeland, FL After Hurricane Florence

Savannah – Yesterday afternoon, I caught what seemed to be the return of Gulfstream Savannah Service Center aircraft from Hurricane Evacuation to Lakeland Florida due to Hurricane Florence. A few came in early in the day, but during the afternoon, the majority arrived one after the other. Watching with my Mode-S/ADS-B receiver, they practically formed a fishhook over Savannah as they came in from the south or southwest, turned just east of Savannah and headed for Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. I began catching them with Jacksonville Center on 135.975 (Alma High) after which they switched to 127.575 (Waycross Low) and 124.675 (Jekyll Low) before switching to 120.400 with Savannah Approach and then 119.100 with Savannah-Hilton Head IAP Tower. The ground guides at the Service Centers must have been pretty busy there for a little bit! I was also able to catch them checking in with the Gulfstream Service Center on 128.925 and being directed to either “GS1” or “GS2.”

All of the returning aircraft used the usual GULFTEST callsign:

GULFTEST 10 (G550, N540GA, USAF 645th AESG)
GULFTEST 14 (G450, N937BG, Solarius Aviation)
GULFTEST 17 (G650, N650AF, Vulcan Northwest Inc)
GULFTEST 25 (G550, N582GA, Gulfstream Aerospace)
GULFTEST 29 (G450, N275M, Bridges Porter)
GULFTEST 40 (G-VI, N650MT, Bank of Utah Trustee)
GULFTEST 44 (G-IV, N401FT, Executive Jet Shares)
GULFTEST 48 (G450, M-LFBB, Oviation Two Ltd)
GULFTEST 58 (G550, VP-CLK, Great Prespa Ltd)
GULFTEST 75 (G550, N579GA, Gulfstream Aerospace)
GULFTEST 89 (G650, N282GA, Gulfstream Aerospace)
GULFTEST 93 (G650, N766GA, R94924 LLC)
GULFTEST 96 (G550, N526GA, Gulfstream Aerospace)

Military Monitoring enthusiasts will probably take notice of GULFSTREAM 10; it was definitely one that caught my attention as I looked up the N-Numbers of the returning aircraft.

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.

Listening to Gulfstream Aerospace G500 and G600 Testing

SavannahGulfstream Aerospace is well along in flight testing of their new G500 and G600 models. Both aircraft are being built at and tested out of Gulfstream’s factory in Savannah at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. If you live near the Georgia coast, you can hear some of the testing activity of these aircraft if you know what to listen for and where to listen for them at. You can also track them on Mode-S/ADS-B while you listen to them. Using Mode-S to identify the flights is actually the best way to identify a Gulfstream test flight as a G500 or G600 instead of another aircraft undergoing flight testing.

What do you need to listen for? First, you need to listen out for the flight testing callsign: GULFTEST ##. They almost always use GULFTEST whether they’re testing a G500 of G600, a G550 or G650, or an older aircraft that’s been in for service. On Mode-S or in Flight Aware, the callsign will show as GLF##. After you’ve found the right GLF## flight, look for an aircraft type of GA5C, which is the G500 or GA6C, which is the G600. They almost always have ADS-B turned on, so you can track their flight path as they do their test flights. To date, I’ve tracked seven G500s and five G600s, here are their N-Numbers and Mode-S codes:

G500
N500GA (A63A87)
N502GS (A64205)
N503G (A645AB)
N504GS (A64973)
N505GD (A64D1D)
N507GD (A6548B)
N511GD (A665C0)

G600
N600G (A7C7D5)
N601GA (A7CB8D)
N720GD (A9A426)
N730GD (A9CBA5)
N740GD (A9F324)

glf6-glf67
ADS-B plot for GULFTEST 06 (G600, N600G, Gulfstream Aerospace) with GULFTEST 67 (G500, N500GA, Gulfstream Aerospace) also appearing

Where do you listen for them at? Most of the test flights take place off of the Georgia coast, so the local air traffic control frequencies for Savannah and the coastal area including Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport as well as SEALORD primary frequencies for offshore SUAs are your best bet and are listed below. Sometimes, the test flights are over land or are cross-country flights, so Jax Center and Atlanta Center frequencies are your best bets then. The Jax Center and Atlanta Center frequencies that can easily be heard from the Savannah area are listed on my MilAir page. The test flights can also be heard on two Gulfstream frequencies which are listed below.

119.100 – Savannah IAP Tower
124.975 – Hunter AAF Tower
123.000 – Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport
120.400 – Savannah Approach/Departure
125.300 – Savannah Approach/Departure
124.675 – Jacksonville Center Jekyll Low
126.125 – Jacksonville Cener Statesboro High
126.750 – Jacksonville Center Brunswick Low
132.425 – Jacksonville Center Hunter High
132.925 – Jacksonville Center Allendale Low
120.950 – SEALORD North Primary
123.200 – WCM9, Gulfstream Aerospace
123.350 – GULFTEST Air-to-Air

The Gulfstream flight testing is something you can listen to with almost any inexpensive scanner (almost all of them these days have VHF airband coverage). Amateur radio operators can also listen to them with a lot of 2m/70cm radios since many rigs that have those bands also offer extended receive in the VHF airband range. Most of the testing also takes place over 10,000 ft, so it’s not hard to hear with handheld radios, especially if you use something like the Diamond RH77CA. Even though most of the aviation activity I listen to is military aviation, I still enjoy monitoring the Gulfstream testing and catching the new G500s and G600s as they start testing.