KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — In honor of Memorial Day, pilots from the 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field will be out in force for scheduled flyovers throughout Oregon, according to a statement from the Oregon Military Department (OMD).
F-15 fighter jets will be operating at about 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 miles per-hour in airspeed. Although flights could be canceled or times changed due to "inclement weather or operational contingencies," the Memorial Day flyovers are timed to coincide with the following ceremonies:
A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle taxis to the runway during night flying operations at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)
10:45 a.m. Independence State Airport, Independence, Ore.
11:00 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Beaverton, Ore.
11:00 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.
11:10 a.m. Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Portland, Ore.
11:15 a.m. Mt View Cemetery, Oregon City, Ore.
11:15 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.
11:25 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.
11:30 a.m. City View Cemetery, Salem, Ore.
11:40 a.m. Brookings Harbor Port, Brookings, Ore.
12:00 p.m. Woodville Cemetery, Rogue River, Ore.
12:15 p.m. Boatnik at Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.
12:20 p.m. Hillcrest Memorial Park, Medford, Ore.
12:25 p.m. Memory Gardens, Medford, Ore.
The 173rd will also be conducting night exercises over the next several weeks to train new pilots, according to OMD. Operations begin on Tuesday, May 29 and continue through Thursday, May 31. They will pick up again the next week, Tuesday, June 5 through Thursday, June 7.
OMD calls Kingsley Field "the premiere F-15C schoolhouse for the U.S. Air Force"—and night flying is an essential part of the course curriculum for student pilots.
"Night flying is an essential skill our F-15 student pilots need to learn," said Col. Jeff Smith, commander of the173rd FW. "We are grateful for the exceptional support the 173rd Fighter Wing receives from the local community and try our best to minimize the noise impact."
According to OMD, the majority of the training will occur in the military operating airspace to the east of Lakeview where the pilots can fly without lights. However, the local community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field. Take-offs will occur after sundown and the jets will return approximately an hour-and-a-half later.
Community members may contact the wing's public affairs office at 541-885-6677 to express any concerns they have during this time.