Red Flag Trip Report (Red Flag 04-3, 08/2004)
by Lone Wolf

Red Flag:

Coyote Summit was visited by F15s and Tornadoes. The F16s seems to like to enter the range a bit further north. I haven't got the film back yet, but I don't think there were any killer shots. I did get one of a C130 flying so low that you can see it's shadow in the same frame as the plane.

I listened to the exercises on the AWACS freq, Mig freq, and "roulette" (land units). I think for locating the "targets", roulette is the way to go. You could often hear recognizable landmarks, such as student gap, the Worthingtons, etc. Since the photographers and the ground units have the same objective, i.e. shooting the "friendlies", it makes more sense to listen to a channel that tracks those targets. What you lack from monitoring the mig or land freqs is the callsigns of the friendlies, which only show up on the AWACS channel. On the roulette channel, it is quite obvious when the show is over. They stop tracking targets and start to review the radar jamming logs. Sometimes when you monitor the AWACS channel it is not easy to determine when the war is over.

Black F150 and myself ran into some of the C130 crew. They drove to Rachel to take a few photos (after getting lost and ending up in Utah). One interesting comment one of the guys made was that "if they fly where they can see the base, they have to go home." Now this is interesting since in the past on orientation day some pilots would ask "what is that base", to which showtime would reply "that is where Elvis lives."

Weapons School:

I caught an interesting weapons school exercise on 372.15. They were tracking a moving convoy with a "roland", so the targets are pretty sophisticated. The exercise was on Dog Bone Lake. Callsigns Evil and Hydra. Laser targeting was used.

TTR:

Nice of them to open up a hanger. However, it looks like just another scud launcher. The only non-Janet I saw was a large grey cargo plane. It was quite late in the morning, so it was hard to ID the plane due to heat distortion.

Incidentals:

1) Tonopah and Alamo now have Verizon digital cellular. My email didn't come through on the new service, so it's not full featured digital.

2) The Del Pueblo is now the Alamo Truck Stop. The menu is cut to 1/3 the original size and the Machaca Burrito didn't make the cut. Grrrr..

3) Tonopah Station (the former Station House) no longer has 24 hour food. First they yank the pinball machines, then they light the bar that used to be optimally murky, but this time Ramada has gone too far!


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