Airspace over north central and Northwest Oklahoma may see training flights of F-16s later this year if a proposal now being considered is approved.
According to the 138th Fighter Wing, an Oklahoma Air National Guard unit based in Tulsa, the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon is weighing the option to have F-16s from the 138th fly training missions in the Vance Military Operations Areas (MOAs).
Under the proposed action, F-16s from the 138th would fly training missions in the Vance MOAs one day per month, typically on a Saturday when the MOAs are not in use by Vance Air Force Base's T-38 and T-6 aircraft.
Terri Schaefer, Vance's chief of public affairs, said the flights would take place over the Enid, Alva and Woodward areas and along military training routes between those areas and Tulsa.
But, Schaefer said, it's unlikely the community will notice the flights.
According to the 138th, all training flights would be conducted 10,000 feet above ground level or higher, and supersonic flight would be conducted higher than 30,000 feet above ground level — more than five and one-half miles above the ground.
"We may occasionally hear a sonic boom, but I doubt it," Schaefer said. "Right now we are exploring them flying in our airspace at approximately 10,000 feet when they do drill."
The F-16s would not be expected to land at Vance under normal operations, Schaefer said.
An environmental impact study is underway, which is required prior to adding F-16s to the Vance MOAs for training purposes.
A draft of that study is expected to be available for public comment in March or April, and Schaefer said if the plan is approved flights from the 138th in the Vance MOAs would be expected in October or later.
Source : http://www.enidnews.com/oklahoma/news/national-guard-proposing-f--flights-in-vance-operating-areas/article_b7f004df-7245-59e7-8c14-1f96f52d9fe2.html324