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U.S. military holding training exercise in Wisconsin's skies starting next week

US Air Force ends height restrictions in hopes of attracting more female pilots
Posted at 9:57 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 22:57:05-04

You may be hearing more jets flying through the sky next week as Camp Douglas in Juneau County hosts about 60 aircraft and 1,000 members of the U.S. military for a 12-day-long training exercise.

Units from Wisconsin as well as Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota and Virginia will participate in the annual 'Northern Lightning Counterland' training exercise. It starts Aug. 9 and runs through Aug. 20 out of the Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas.

Northern Lightning started in the early 2000s and grew in scale in 2015. It became a biannual exercise in 2018 and 2019 before returning to an annual exercise in 2020, according to a statement from the Wisconsin National Guard.

The Guard describes the exercise as such: "Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise replicating today’s air battle space with current and future weapons platforms. A variety of the world’s most advanced aircraft including fifth generation aircraft like the F-35 will participate in the exercise."

Residents can expect to see an increase in aircraft activity in the Camp Douglas area and in the skies over Central Wisconsin Aug. 9-20. That includes some aircraft conducting supersonic travel at altitudes above 30,000 feet or while climbing in both the mornings and afternoons.

The Guard says aircraft will usually fly beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending after 4 p.m. daily - but those times are subject to change.

People in the following counties can anticipate increased military flight operations in the airspace: Adams, Brown, Calumet, Clark, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jackson, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Outagamie, Portage, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood.

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