Salina residents are accustomed to the sight and sounds of Canadian F-18 Hornets training in the area, but this June they may notice a more familiar flag as the U.S. military takes advantage of Salina’s location to train members of our own armed forces.
The deployment will include close air support training, live fire events, aircraft familiarization and integration by members of Air Force, Navy and Army units, as well as representatives of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
The Salina Regional Airport’s close proximity to the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range is key for this type of training. Military units get “more bang for their buck,” pun intended. The less time pilots spend in the air getting to the training venue, the more time, and fuel, they can spend over it training the guys on the ground and sharpening their own skills. This location, coupled with a supportive community, make Salina a preferred location for military training.
Salina residents shouldn’t need worry if they hear any loud bangs; out on the weapons range they will be destroying mock enemies and using inert ordnance. The SLN air traffic control tower will work with the units to keep the planes west of the city when possible.
Story by Melissa McCoy / Salina Airport Authority