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Fighter Jet Maneuvers Along Oregon Coast May Create Sonic Booms, Video

Published 07/13/22 at 5:19 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Fighter Jet Maneuvers Along Oregon Coast May Create Sonic Booms

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(Oregon Coast) – A little bit of Top Gun – or Call of Duty – is coming to Oregon shores right about now. (Photo courtesy 142 Wing, Oregon National Guard)

The 142nd Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard will be hosting another set of fighter jets from now through about July 22, and their battle exercises in the sky will not only create some impressive sights along the Oregon coast and eastern Oregon but also a few rather big noises. On occasion, these maneuvers result in sonic booms, which tend to startle unknowing residents and visitors to the Oregon coastline.

The Portland-based 142nd Wing said on its social media they will be collaborating with the VFA-192’s F-18 Super Hornets (“Golden Dragons”) on dissimilar air combat training (DACT) from July 11-15 and 18-22.

Photo courtesy 142 Wing, Oregon National Guard

“This specified training provides realistic combat scenarios for pilots to hone advanced aerial tactics that may be used against potential adversaries,” the group said. “The exercise is an essential and required component to ensure military readiness in support of the base’s national and state missions.”

Flights will come out of Portland International Airport and training will be conducted over selected airspace above the Oregon coastline and the eastern part of the state. They will begin at 8 a.m. and be over by 4 p.m.

Lt. Col. Joshua Hovanas, Oregon’s 123rd Fighter Squadron Commander, said the exercises further enhance interoperability between other military branches.

“This training with the Golden Dragons is a unique opportunity for the Redhawks to refine and reinforce joint air superiority tactics,” said Hovanas. "The combination of capabilities represented between our two weapons systems allows for operations against a peer adversary - a critical training requirement for the Oregon Air National Guard.”

There was no warning issued of possible sonic boom noises, but they have been known to happen.

Sonic booms occur when a jet breaks the sound barrier, creating shockwaves in the air.

One example is in 2016 when north Oregon coast residents were alarmed by a massive noise about 6 p.m., one that was heard along some 20 miles, from Garibaldi to Manzanita. It shook homes and windows, sending some out into the street to look for explosions, and it lit up social media.

Some residents caught on quickly to the sonic boom idea, with one writing: “We did go outside right after the boom that rattled the house and windows, and we could hear jets in the sky. We guessed military drills.”

A few darted outside their front doors half expecting to see smoke from an explosion.

*Latter part of this article from previous Oregon Coast Beach Connection coverage.

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Photo courtesy 142 Wing, Oregon National Guard

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