The 49th Wing will be conducting routine F-22 Raptor night flying training next week, to stay current with mandatory Air Force requirements.
Most training flights should be completed each evening before 11:59 p.m. The training may produce more noise than normal at Holloman, over the White Sands Missile Range airspace and near communities in Otero, Lincoln and Dona Ana counties.
“In order to meet requirements set by the Secretary of Defense, we will be conducting some night flying operations,” said Col. Andrew Croft, 49th Wing commander. “Fighting at night is not a new concept--man has been doing it for centuries. By training at night we not only hone our flying skills, but ensure we maintain air superiority in all environments.”
Croft said the night training will allow pilots to remain proficient in techniques used in both day and night flying environments, which is crucial to national defense.
“I can assure you we will make every effort to balance the requirements of our training with the impacts to our neighboring communities,” he said. “We will make every effort to utilize airspace over White Sands Missile Range in order to maintain a good rapport with our neighbors surrounding the base.”
In addition to the restricted airspace within WSMR, the airspace above McGregor Range and within military operation areas north and east of Holloman, will be used to train. Residents in these areas might also experience some sonic booms as part of the training. As a result of the F-22’s “supercruise” capability, sonic booms can occur when the aircraft is in flight.
In order to assist residents with being prepared for potential sonic booms, the Holloman Public Affairs Office regularly releases the flying schedule to media organizations throughout southern New Mexico and far west Texas. The office also emails the report to anyone who requests the flying schedule, while also posting the flying schedule on the base website at www.holloman.af.mil .
The F-22s stationed at Holloman are scheduled to move to Florida, however, there is no specific timeline as to when this movement will take place.