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Kingsley Field Brings in Foreign 'Adversary' Aircraft for Fighter Training

A Draken International L-159E Honey Badger aircraft heads for the Oregon Test and Training Range to simulate an adversary during training missions for the 173rd Fighter Wing under a contract to test their services for future use, June 5, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)

These ADAIR fighters will spar with the 173rd Fighter Wing's F-15s to provide new pilots with realistic training scenarios.

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 11:20 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 11:38 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The skies above Southern Oregon will soon be host to strange 'enemy' aircraft, according to a statement from the 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field.

"You will see some distinctly different jets flying over Klamath Falls over the next few months," said Colonel Jeff Smith, the 173rd Fighter Wing commander. "These Adversary Air (ADAIR) aircraft, pilots, and maintenance personnel are contracted by the U.S. Air Force to help us increase our training quality and student throughput."

These foreign aircraft are examples of the L-159E "Honey Badger"—an attack jet produced by Czech aerospace corporation Aero Vodochody. The Honey Badger has seen use throughout the world since its rollout in the year 2000, including in the post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi airforce.

More to the point, the Honey Badger is a favorite of a U.S.-based civilian contractor corporation called Draken International, which frequently pairs with the U.S. military for training.

According to the 173rd Fighter Wing, pilots-in-training have typically had to pit their F-15 Eagle fighters against trainers in the same aircraft—tying up as many as four F-15s at a time to train one student pilot. But with the new Honey Badger squadron inbound, instructors will be able to focus on getting their students in the air.

First flights with the Honey Badgers were scheduled to begin earlier this week, on June 5. However, these flights represent a 'dry run,' so to speak—with permanent integration planned for sometime in 2019. The initial visit will allow 173rd officers and contractor representatives to work out any kinks with the proposed start date, according to the statement.

"We're excited to welcome them temporarily in June and July and more permanently starting in 2019," Col. Smith said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
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Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
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Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
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Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
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Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
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Alameda1246581504
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Ventura1036461188
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Stanislaus912991413
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San Francisco56614669
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Monterey52340625
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Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
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Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
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Sutter14494181
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Tehama10230129
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Lake6990110
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Del Norte371242
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Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
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