Red Flag

Message posted by Gregos on February 13, 2006 at 22:18:03 PST:

Part 1:
I went up to Nellis AFB today for the recovery of Red Flag at 12:00pm. Aircraft were already landing on Runway 21R when we got there so we parked by the racetrack. For the first 45 minutes it was the usual stuff: F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, etc. We saw the Aggressor F-16s with the “Lizard camouflage” paint jobs and a few F-111s (haven’t seen one of those in awhile). Around 1:30 or so, an AWACs came straight in followed by two KC-135 Tankers. I figured with the tankers down, that was about it. But I didn’t want to leave without seeing F-22s or the B-2 Bomber! A few minutes later, over the scanner (327.00) “somebody heavy” cleared to land… I didn’t catch the call sign but “heavy” could be a bomber! As the aircraft made straight in I wasn’t seeing a tail. As it got closer, still no tail, yes, the Crown Jewel! Two B-2 Spirits one after the other! We hung around for a few more minutes when we noticed a bunch of F-15s about to take off. We drove to the other side of the base to watch them depart. Things seemed to calm down a bit and it was almost 2:00pm so we were about to go. Then the scanner went off again with a “somebody cleared for take off.” I really have to start paying attention to the call signs! OK, time for one last picture. Right over our heads came (4) Thunderbirds in the diamond formation! We waited for the two solo aircraft to follow but they never did (at least while we were there), maybe they had the day off lol! Way cool day!!!

Part 2:
I had such a good time I decided to go back for the evening launch. I got back to the racetrack at 5:00pm in case they were early as before with the landings. And I was hoping to see some F-22s sneak out early maybe… Shortly after getting there an AWACs started to taxi passed the B-2s to Runway 03. This time I heard “Disco zero one heavy, cleared for take off.” I took a few shots of the AWACs in the setting sun. Then I noticed the B-2s were gone. A little while later, I heard “Anchor 25 heavy, cleared for take off.” Two KC-135s took off and headed North. Just as the sun dipped behind the hills, the two B-2s departed and I didn’t hear a radio transmission at all for them. After that more fighters and it was starting to get really dark. The F-15s with full afterburner look really cool at night. Warm weather, full moon, what a gorgeous night to fly! I played around with “night shot” on the camcorder for awhile (kind of desert storm look lol) but it was time to go…

As I type this I can hear the recovery all the way in Henderson! Didn’t expect that with a little antenna (ICOM IC-R5 Scanner).

Tomorrow I plan to go up to Rachel to see what there is to see. I will post later :-)


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