180FW Participates in Northern Lightning 23

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Stalder Lundgren
  • 180th Fighter Wing

More than 90 Airmen and six F-16 Fighting Falcons, assigned to the Ohio National Guard's 180th Fighter Wing, deployed to Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, in early August to participate in exercise Northern Lightning.

Northern Lightning, an annual event at Volk Field, focuses on providing a premier joint training environment replicating today's battle space with current and future weapons platforms. The 180FW will demonstrate their ability to integrate with joint and allied forces, focusing on air to air combat, dissimilar aircraft air tactics and offensive and defensive counter air with realistic surface-to-air and air-to-air threats.

“The most beneficial part of this training is that we get to fly with the F-35s,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Austin Haugen, an F-16 fighter pilot assigned to the 180FW. “We can complement each other well to better compete with our adversaries.”

As a tactical level, joint training exercise, Northern Lightning provides Airmen with opportunities to train with other units with different capabilities, sharpening the skills, readiness and lethality of all participants.

“We’re going to defend the homeland and make sure the United States not only wins, but dominates the air and the ground. There’s nothing we can’t do.”

During the two-week exercise, Northern Lightning will have approximately 1,000 participants from across the United States, utilizing the 40,000 cubic miles of airspace Volk Field has to offer.

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