If you heard a little more noise from above than you normally do, there's a reason why. Black Hills FOX's Jon Wilson takes you to Ellsworth Air Force Base for more.
Exercise Director for Combat Raider exercise, Captain Rob Rauch says, "So Combat Raider's intent is to have a large-force exercise that brings several different assets, different aircraft into the same training range to train against potential future conflicts."
The sound of aircraft overhead today was simulation for scenarios that our country and those stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base could face. It includes a large number of airmen along with a variety of aircraft.
Rauch says, "C-2 aircraft, or command and control aircraft, the E-8 JSTARS, the E-3 AWACS air control asset. We have B-52 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, we have B-1's flying daily from Ellsworth from the 37th Bomb Squadron, as well as F-15 Air Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base."
The training takes place over the Powder River Training Complex that includes parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The various aircraft were given different responsibility. What you will notice from the ground will depend on where you are.
Rauch says, "I think the impact from the ground perspective would be pretty minimal as far as noticing, hearing aircraft, anything like that. If you were really tuned in with observing the airspace and who is invited to the airspace, then it might make a difference, but I think generally speaking, it's not going to have a gigantic impact to the public."
The Combat Raider training concludes Thursday.