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Ranger Exercise at Hunter AAF (and other MilAir Happenings)

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As reported last week by WJCL and WTGS, the Rangers at Hunter AAF are conducting an exercise along with various other Army and Air Force units.  Between my schedule and the weather, last night and this morning were the first time I’ve had the chance to listen out for any exercise activity on the radios and I wasn’t disappointed.  An AC-130 Spooky, MC-130H Combat Talons, an MC-130P Combat Shadow, MC-130J Commandos, and CV-22B Ospreys departed Hunter last night and returned in the early hours of this morning:

BRIM 37 (C-17A, 07-7187, 437/315 AW)
BRIM 38 (C-17A, 09-9205, 437/315 AW)
BRIM 40 (C-17A, 08-8190, 437/315 AW)
BRIM 41 (C-17A, 10-0213, 437/315 AW)
ECONO 31 (MC-130H, 89-0281, 15 SOS)
ECONO 32 (MC-130H, 84-0476, 15 SOS?)
ECONO 33 (MC-130H, 87-0126, 15 SOS)
ECONO 34 (MC-130J, 08-6202, 552 SOS)
ECONO 35 (MC-130J, 08-6201, 552 SOS)
ECONO 36 (HC-130P, 65-0994, 9 SOS)
SINEW 56 (AC-130U, 89-1054, 1 SOW)
WAYNE 81 (CV-22B, 09-0044, 20 SOS)
WAYNE 82 (CV-22B, 08-0036, 20 SOS)
WAYNE 83 (CV-22B, 20 SOS)

All of the aircraft were heard using the usual VHF and UHF air traffic control frequencies for the Savannah area.  If you’re interested in catching them later in the week, try:

124.975/279.575     Hunter AAF Tower
269.025/127.575     Jax Center Waycross Low
277.400/126.750     Jax Center Brunswick Low
282.200/124.675     Jax Center Jekyll Low
363.200/132.925     Jax Center Millen/Savannah Low
273.600/123.950     Atlanta Center Macon Low

One of the most interesting things I noticed last night was how quiet the MC-130Js were compared to the H- and P-model MC-130s.  KF4LMT’s Radio Shack isn’t located very far from the approach path to Hunter AAF Rwy 28, so I could hear them leave and return as they flew near the house.  Especially in the early morning with little other ambient noise, the J-models were significantly quieter.  My guess is that the 6 blade propellers on the J-models are mostly responsible for that.

In addition to the Rangers exercise at Hunter, MCAS Beaufort is also seeing some different activity this week.  Over the weekend, F-5s from VMFT-401 arrived at MCAS Beaufort and it appears they will be operating offshore with F/A-18 units based at Beaufort.  As usual, they’re using the callsign SNIPER.  On Monday morning, a flight of two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters arrived at MCAS Beaufort; from what I’ve seen in news reports, they’ll be on display at an event there today.  If you’d like to try to catch the F-5s or F-35s, here are some frequencies to try:

292.125/125.125   MCAS Beaufort App/Dep
284.500/120.950   SEALORD North Primary
363.200/132.925   Jax Center Millen/Savannah Low
228.200   Base  (Normally VMFA-312 Base)
301.950   Tac (Normally VMFA-312 Tac 1)
320.300   Tac (Normally VMFA-312 Tac 2)
308.925  Tac (old VFA-86 Tac)
268.300  VMFT-401 Tac
300.550  VMFT-401 Tac
333.300  VMFT-401 Tac


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