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The Air Force is preparing to launch a massive combat training exercise, and indications have emerged that GPS jamming could affect large swathes of the western US during the maneuvers.Red Flag 18-1, as the exercise is officially designated, began on Friday and runs through February 16 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where up to 160 planes will take off daily.Participation in the secretive air-to-air combat exercise will be limited to the country's closest allies, with the Royal Australian Air Force and the UK's Royal Air Force scheduled to take part.A warning to private aircraft to expect GPS disruptions offered indications that the Air Force is planning to test pilots' responses to GPS-jamming technology developed by potential adversaries.'Beginning tomorrow, January 26, and running through February 18, GPS-equipped aircraft operating in the Western United States should be prepared for possible satellite signal disruptions at various altitudes,' wrote in a bulletin.'Training maneuvers will impact vast portions of the Western US including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.'Though little is known about the GPS jamming technology used in the exercise, it is believed to operate at a much higher range in the air than the ground, according to The Warzone, meaning impacts to cars and surface GPS could be minimal.
'We're trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,' said Colonel Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, in a statement.
'It's the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness,' Mathes said.
Red Flag 18-1 will involve a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as participants from the US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Air Force.
Exercises will take place over the Nevada Test and Training Range, a military training area with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9million acres of land More than 80 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice a day and may remain in the air for up to five hours during Red Flag 18-1, the Air Force said in an advisory.
There may be night launches as well to allow air crews to train for nighttime combat operations.The painted nose of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 Flying Fortress.The Air Force announced Friday it had found hundreds of examples of pornography and tens of thousands of other inappropriate items, including photos of painted aircraft nose art, listed under "inappropriate/offensive." HALEY ZIMMERMAN/COURTESY OF THE U. AIR FORCE WASHINGTON — The Air Force announced Friday it had found hundreds of examples of pornography and tens of thousands of other inappropriate items in a recent sweep of bases and facilities worldwide. Mark Welsh III in late November ordered wing commanders to scour work areas for pornographic or offensive materials that sexually objectify men or women, and for other “unprofessional” items.Welsh’s order came on the heels of media reports of sexual harassment and hostile working conditions for female airmen, and in the midst of a growing scandal centered on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, over sexual misconduct by Air Force instructors toward trainees. Larry Spencer, the Air Force vice chief of staff, told Stars and Stripes on Friday that the inspection was aimed at making sure current policies and standards on workplace conduct are being enforced.