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187th Fighter Wing trains to fight in the dark.

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matthew Garrett
  • 187th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 187th Fighter Wing conducted night flying operations Feb. 18th through 28th.

In order to help the pilots fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon during low light and night missions, the pilots have night vision goggles (NVG) mounted on their helmets.

"Our tasking is for 24 hour operations and we have to be ready to fight, day or night," said Col. Samuel Black, 187th Fighter Wing commander. "The capabilities of our jet make it just as easy to fight at night as it is in the day time, which can give us an advantage over the enemy."

"We want to be just as proficient at night if not more so than daytime. This is an opportunity to do that" said Black.

For two weeks, the members of the 187th Fighter Wing worked late into the night training for night operations.

"Challenges include less visual perception than you would normally have during the day, as well as less visual cues," said Capt. Scott Eshelman, F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot. "You are not able to see as much when you're flying in the dark."

"With the NVGs, it's imperative to train frequently", said Eshelman "It helps us out a lot, but they don't exactly turn the night into day."

The night flying affects the work schedule of not only the pilots, but also the ground crew members who work on the jets.

"We have to be proficient to execute the mission, day or night, any time we may be called upon." said Eshelman.