BOISE – Starting Monday through October 18th, military fighter pilots and their aircraft will be flying in and out of Mountain Home Air Force Base and Gowen Field for a large-scale training.
According to Idaho National Guard spokesperson Colonel Tim Marsano, the majority of training is scheduled to take place over the Saylor Creek and Juniper Butte military training ranges southeast of Mountain Home.
Jets from all over the world are participating in the Mountain Roundup military exercise. The aircraft has special after-burning engines which means, “things are going to be a little noisier than Treasure Valley residents might be used to hearing,” said Marsano.
The noise will increase in the vicinity of the Boise Airport throughout the exercise.
Mountain Roundup 2013 includes units from the German Air Force, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Canadian Forces and aircraft from the Republic of Singapore's 428th Fighter Squadron stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Marsano explains the training involves maneuvers and strategies like in combat battle. Ground troops will also conduct dozens of convoys during the three weeks.
“Some of the ways that these aircraft and their pilots are going to be training, like they would fight, like air to air combat or dog fighting, air to ground training which is basically bomb dropping with Idaho National guardsmen calling in the airstrikes working on the ground,” said Marsano.
Mountain Home Air Force Base hosts large-scale military exercises because of our unique Idaho landscape.
“We have some airspace that is almost unique in the United States for aircraft to do things just as they would do in an overseas combat environment in the southern part of our state, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for folks to train like they would fight,” said Marsano.
The exercise will also simulate ground operations, close-air support, urban combatives, convoy operations, basic fighter maneuvers, counter air and multiple air-to-air training scenarios, according to Marsano.
“Air to air refueling, airborne warning and surveillance exercises lots of different things that we don’t normally have the opportunity to train on here in Idaho,” said Marsano.
The louder than usual air traffic will give troops the chance to hone their combat skills but again, it will only last until October 18th.