Night Flying at the 187th Fighter Wing

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Michael Luangkhot
  • 187th Fighter Wing

DANNELLY FIELD, Ala. – The 187th Fighter Wing conducted three days of night flying at Dannelly Field, Ala. on May 28-30, 2024.

The maintainers and pilots at the 187th Fighter Wing conducted night training to hone their abilities to perform under the cover of darkness. Night Flying is a quarterly requirement for all pilots and simulates real-world situations that maintains their proficiency in navigation, decision-making and mission execution in low-visibility environments.

"Night flying is an essential training tool for not only our pilots but also for our maintainers,” said Lt Col Luke “Spider” Bledsoe, 100th Fighter Squadron, Director of Operations. “It provides us with the necessary experience to maintain mission readiness and be proficient at providing air power in any environment.”

 The training ensures our maintainers and pilots remain prepared to effectively accomplish the mission regardless of the hour of operations.

“Red Tail Maintainers have to be efficient at their specialties during day and night operations in order to generate on-time, on-target airpower no matter when we’re called upon.  Night operations are challenging, can be disorienting, and magnifies the inherent dangers of our jobs,” said Senior Master Sergeant Russell Nero, Maintenance Group Production Superintendent. “Being able to train and practice at home is imperative to building the muscle memory needed when downrange and lives are on the line.  May 24th was National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, and our message was the best planes, and the greatest pilots can’t do what they do without Maintainers first doing what we do.”