by Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz
154th Wing Public Affairs
3/6/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Residents
in Hawaii may notice an increase in fighter aircraft activity as well
diversity of airframes in and around the airspaces of the state March
5-19 as the Hawaii Air National Guard hosts its second large-scale
"Sentry Aloha" fighter exercise of 2015.
Sentry Aloha exercises provide the Air National Guard, Air Force and
Department of Defense counterparts a multi-faceted, joint venue, with
supporting infrastructure and personnel that incorporates current,
realistic, integrated training to equip the warfighter with the skill
sets necessary to fly, fight and win.
"Sentry Aloha provides a pivot to the Pacific, combining
fifth-generation, fighter integration training with large force
employment to provide joint, total force integration between the [Hawaii
ANG], Air National Guard, [Air Force], and other DOD counterparts in a
current and realistic war fighting capacity," said Lt. Col Kyle
Mitsumori, acting director of Sentry Aloha.
Sentry Aloha exercises are hosted and conducted by the Hawaii ANG
several times per year, for decades. It has been growing in size and
complexity following the 154th Wing's conversion in 2010 to the Air
Force F-22 Raptor aircraft.
"Everyone participating and supporting is professional and
well-trained," said Mitsumori. "The biggest challenge is the enormity of
coordination required to execute complex missions and the many moving
For this exercise, Air Force F-15 Eagle aircraft from Oregon and Florida
will be participating. The Arizona ANG has Air Force F-16 Fighting
Falcon aircraft, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, Air Force C-130
Hercules aircraft, and an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft taking
part. KC-135s will also be coming from Iowa and Maine ANG. U.S. Naval
aviators will be flying variants of the Navy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from
California out of Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, Hawaii. There are a total
of 45 aircraft and more than 1,000 servicemen from seven states
"Sentry Aloha is hosted by the [Hawaii] ANG but to be successful at this
level the [Hawaii] ANG relies on cooperation and support from the
entire Ohana: Pacific Command, Pacific Air Forces, [Federal Aviation
Administration], and many other agencies to make it all work. Success is
directly related to the HIANG's ability to properly coordinate and
include all players in all phases of the exercise."
The Hawaii ANG and active-duty intelligence divisions, in concert with
combat planners develop realistic scenarios consistent with current and
future world situations. Tactical unit weapons officers contribute to
provide relevant and 'tip-of-the-spear' elements for maximum training.
"What's going on is a lot of our potential enemies and near peers have
invested in that same force," said Col. Duke Pirak, acting vice
commander for Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing. "They learn from
us, they watched us and are now starting to invest in the way that we
are. So while not commonplace at all now, large air wars will be
potentially an integral part of a future war, a major battle."
"[Fighter dogfighting] hasn't happened on a scale that we see in these
exercises ... and that's a good thing," said Pirak, explaining the
conventional deterrent effect of the Air Force. "There are a lot of
folks that just simply don't want to tangle with us in that way."