I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco whilst the above exercises were taking place at Nellis AFB, so a quick visit was in order to capture the visitors. Las Vegas in late August – what could go wrong?
I also realised by looking at previous images that I was going to need further reach than my 18-300mm, so a quick rent of a Tamron 150-600mm was organised. I’d looked at buying this lens previously and thought that this would be great opportunity to try it out. Given the prevailing conditions and the fact that I had to shoot at ISO400 or ISO500 to get a decent shutter speed, I was quite impressed. I’m going to wait to see what the new Nikon 200mm-500mm f5.6 is like before deciding what to buy.
So, the good news was that nearly all the frames I wanted to photograph actually flew – the bad news was that the weather was not great (cloudy skies all day) and all the Israeli’s did left breaks for 21L. 🙁
Also flying, but not listed below, were F35A Lighning II’s from 422nd TES, Nellis AFB, NV and AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms from HMLA-369, USMC.
There was a great selection of participating units, including (courtesy Nellis Exercises):
|Red Team||F-15C/F-16C||64 Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV|
|Escort||F-22||15th Wing, 19th FS, Hickam AFB, HI|
|F-16C/D||301st FW, 457th FS, Carswell ARS, Ft Worth TX|
|F-16C/D||54th FG, 311th FS, Holloman AFB, NM|
|F-16C||56th FW, 61st TFS, Luke AFB, AZ|
|Interdiction||A-10||53rd AW, 422nd TES, Nellis AFB, NV|
|SEAD||F-16CM||20th FW, 77th FS, Shaw AFB, SC|
|EA-18G||VAQ-131, NAS Whidbey Island, WA (did not fly on 25 Aug)|
|Airlift||C-17||437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC|
|Command & Control||E-3/E-8||552nd ACW, Tinker AFB, OK|
|Refueling||KC-135||22nd ARW, 931st ARG, McConnell AFB, KS|
|Search & Rescue||HH-60||55 RQS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ|
|Also participating||F-15D/I||Israeli Air Force|
|F-16AM/BM||Royal Jordanian Air Force|
|F-16C/D||425FS, Luke AFB, AZ (Republic of Singapore Air Force)|
|KC-707||Israeli Air Force|
|HC-130J||79RQS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ|
|CH-47||Republic of Singapore Air Force|