HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It may sound nosier in the skies over Oahu as dozens of fighter pilots from several states duke it out in simulated air combat.
Air crews are coming in from as far away as California, Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa for the Sentry Aloha training exercises — all hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard.
For two weeks, the starting point is the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
"They kinda curve around and then head back north of Oahu," said Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony. "There's a lot of unrestricted airspace there where you can have a lot of different aircraft."
Once there, the complex training scenarios begin — everything from re-fueling to dog fights to securing and holding an area.
One of main benefits for the Hawaii Raptor pilots is simply going up against more aircraft.
"If you had Raptors that were just going up against a single F-16 unit it really wouldn't be a fair fight because the Raptors are that advanced," Anthony said.
Added Lt. Col. Dirk "Diggler" Lough, of the Air National Guard in Fresno, Calif., "When it's fights on, we try to make it as realist as possible."
"We're going high and fast and taking long shots and calling guys dead. It's all simulated for training," he added.
Sentry Aloha happens three to four times a year, ensuring readiness, fighter integration and safeguarding national security.