GOV/MIL Reports: US highways to be temporarily closed for .mil aircraft to drill landing & departing

mzkitty

I give up.
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July 29, 2021

For the first time in recent history, the U.S. Air Force is going to take its aircraft out onto highways in the United States for an exercise. Four A-10C Warthog attack aircraft and a pair of C-146A Wolfhound special operations transports are due to take part in the road-landing drill, which is a part of the wider Exercise Northern Strike. As well as being a unique event in the United States, the upcoming highway deployment reflects the ever-increasing importance of dispersed operations for the U.S. military, including as part of the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) initiative.

The highway exercise will take place on August 5 and is being run by the Michigan Air National Guard. With the help of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). A stretch of the Michigan State Highway M-32 near Alpena will be closed off for five hours, as the A-10s and C-146s touch down there.




Master Sgt. Scott Thompson

An A-10C from the 107th Fighter Squadron, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, conducts close air support training at Grayling Aerial Gunnery Range in Waters, Michigan, in 2019.


“This is believed to be the first time in history that modern Air Force aircraft have intentionally landed on a civilian roadway on U.S. soil,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel James Rossi, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center commander. “Our efforts are focused on our ability to train the warfighter in any environment across the continuum so our nation can compete, deter, and win today and tomorrow.”

The highway drills will be conducted by the Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing, which flies A-10Cs from Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Also involved is the Air Force’s 355th Wing, which also operates A-10Cs, as well as combat search and rescue assets from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Finally, there is participation by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), from Duke Field, Florida, which is responsible for the C-146A, among other platforms.

This particular stretch of highway has been chosen due to its proximity to the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center that’s one of the facilities being used for Northern Strike 21-2, described as “one of the National Guard’s largest joint, readiness producing exercises.” The maneuvers will be run out of Michigan’s National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC), a huge training range where sea, land, air, space, and cyber capabilities can all be put to the test. Here, flying assets have around 17,000 square miles of special-use airspace in which to train.

For its part, the Michigan Air National Guard will also bring useful expertise to the highway drill, A-10s from the 127th Wing’s 107th Fighter Squadron having operated from austere locations in the past, among them various deployments from highways in Estonia, including as part of the multinational Saber Strike exercise in 2018.



Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Schepers

An A-10C assigned to the 104th Fighter Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, takes off for a training mission during Saber Strike 15 from Ämari Air Base, Estonia, in 2015.


What’s more, the A-10 was designed to be able to undertake just these kinds of missions as part of its requirement to keep fighting on the Cold War-era battlefield. It’s optimized for short takeoffs and landings and its landing gear boasts low-pressure tires for operating from highways and even rougher non-standard surfaces.

Much more here:

 

SurvivalRing

Rich Fleetwood - Founder
There was discussion here YEARS ago, about the design of the interstates including some use as landing strips for various .mil aircraft. This type of plan has been going on for decades outside of the US.

Anyone know anymore about this historical context?
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
Secretive U.S. Task Force Has Been Criss-Crossing Asian Skies (thedrive.com)

Secretive U.S. Task Force Has Been Criss-Crossing Asian Skies
Previously unknown unit flew John Kerry to Vietnam, helped out in the Philippines, and more.
BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK MARCH 6, 2017
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
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JOSEPH TREVITHICKView Joseph Trevithick's Articles
@FranticGoat
On Jan. 14, 2017, in one of his last trips as U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry climbed aboard a U.S. Air Force C-146 Wolfhound cargo plane at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The small military plane with a discreet, civilian-style paint job would take him more than 150 miles southwest to Ca Mau.

The airport serving the small city south of Mekong Delta was too small to accommodate Kerry’s more common transport, the C-32, which is a derivative of Boeing’s 757 airliner. In Ca Mau, the top American diplomat and Vietnam War veteran would take tour of some of the old battlegrounds, talk with locals about reconciliation efforts in what was once part of South Vietnam, and learn about environmental restoration projects in the area.



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CHECK OUT THIS PICTURE OF THE PENTAGON’S SHADOWY NEW SPECIAL OPERATIONS MOTHERSHIPBy Tyler RogowayPosted in THE WAR ZONE
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A GUIDE TO THE PENTAGON'S SHADOWY NETWORK OF BASES IN AFRICABy Joseph TrevithickPosted in THE WAR ZONE
But this wasn’t the first time Kerry made use of a C-146 for official visits to more remote parts of Vietnam. In December 2013, a Wolfhound took the Secretary of State and more than 40 staff to the Mekong Delta region and then on to the Philippines to announce a $25 million aid package following the devastating Typhoon Yolanda.

And that time, a previously unknown U.S. special operations task force helped him get where he needed to go.

According to documents The War Zone obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Joint Special Operations Air Detachment – SN (JSOAD-SN) was responsible for making sure Kerry reached his destinations safely. This unit is mentioned in the footnotes of a heavily redacted copy of the 2013 annual history for the Air Force’s 353rd Special Operations Group, which is headquartered at Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

We do not know what the “SN” stands for in the acronym. Censors removed nearly any mention of the detachment’s operations from the history’s main narrative. We also don’t know if the unit was still active as of January 2017, when Kerry returned to Vietnam. At the time of writing, U.S. Pacific Command had not responded to questions about the unit’s name and basic functions.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE

However, one can still glean a significant amount of detail from the history, related documents and other publicly available information. Most importantly, the Air Force’s 524th Special Operations Squadron undoubtedly provided the aircraft and crews. The squadron, nicknamed the Hounds, is the only unit flying the C-146s. As of June 3, 2013, there were two Wolfhounds in the Pacific region, according to another table the author previously obtained via the FOIA.

Moving Kerry around definitely seems to have been one of the bigger operations for JSOAD-SN during 2013. On Oct. 30, 2013, the detachment drafted a concept of operations specifically for the specialized airlift mission in Vietnam, according to the citations.

“The theater [commander] selected the Hounds based on their professionalism, reliability and ability to operate in austere environments,” the 524th declared in a review of its activities after being named the Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC) squadron of the year for 2013. The author received this document through yet another FOIA request.

But the detachment was not dedicated solely to moving dignitaries around remote areas of the Pacific. Soon after Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, American special operators rushed to assess the damage, distribute aid and move wounded and displaced civilians to safety. This support came in no small part from American troops already in the country conducting counter-terrorism operations and others who had arrived shortly before for separate training exercises.


USAF
A stock shot of one of the 524th's C-146 Wolfhound
“On 18 November [2013], the first MAGMA C-146 crews from JSOAD-SN arrived,” according to the 353rd’s annual history. The 524th commonly uses the call-sign “Magma” on missions all around the world. The specific mention of the detachment made it clear the unit was distinct from Joint Special Operations Air Detachment - Philippines (JSOAD-P) at Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.

In the Philippines, the Wolfhound flew from Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base on the island of Cebu, “which they used as a hub to conduct relief shuttles to and from airports in the disaster zone.” With the help of multiple crews, the C-146 was flying nearly non-stop during the disaster relief mission, which the Pentagon dubbed Operation Damayan.

In just four days, the team from JSOAD-SN was responsible for rushing two civilians to a hospital in Manila for surgery, delivering more than 40,000 pounds of humanitarian aid and transporting nearly 270 refugees to safer areas. The special operators performed their last flights on Nov. 22, 2013.

And that wasn’t all. The 353rd’s annual review cites two JSOAD-SN after action reports unrelated to Operation Damayan or assisting Kerry and his staff. One is dated March 13, 2013, while the unit published the other on Aug. 26, 2013.



USAF
A C-146 at Duke Field, Florida
It is entirely possible these secretive missions were actually quite banal, involving the discreet movement of advisors or gear for training exercises or other exchanges with long-standing partners, such as the Philippines or the Republic of Korea. It is equally possible these were missions of a more secretive nature.
During 2013 alone, the 524th’s activities “included discrete operator movements, SOF [special operations forces] team airlift to austere locations, hurricane evacuation, humanitarian aid, ammunition resupply for [U.S. Army] Special Forces, and even SOF airlift in support of the President of the United States,” the squadron’s report for that year proudly declared. In January 2013, the squadron's Wolfhounds brought elite troops right to front lines in Gao, Mali to support the French-led intervention against Al Qaeda's north African franchise. Then, in December 2015, photographs appeared on social media showing a C-146 on an apparent covert mission in Libya along with elite American troops and their gear.

There are no shortage of potential threats in the Pacific, which might require special operators and their unique skills. Since 9/11, the Pentagon has worked with allies in the Pacific to battle a number of Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups. On top of that, U.S. military personnel have worked with counterparts throughout Asia to counter North Korean's proliferation of missile and nuclear technology, illicit shipments of conventional weapons and other activities. Drug smuggling and piracy are always a concern, too.

What we do know is, during 2013, the “Magma” crews from JSOAD-SN were keeping busy in the Pacific and were clearly ready for whatever missions came their way.
Contact the author: joe@thedrive.com
 

SurvivalRing

Rich Fleetwood - Founder
Someone's been dusting off old war plans. Our Interstate highway system was built - in part - to allow .mil aircraft to operate across the country.

Best
Doc
The old discussion referenced the large aircraft, such as bombers, being too heavy for the depth of the concrete used during road construction. In my searches, I never found in any of my hundreds of historical manuals and documents anything to back this question up. Alfaman, think you could dig up anything?
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
There was discussion here YEARS ago, about the design of the interstates including some use as landing strips for various .mil aircraft. This type of plan has been going on for decades outside of the US.

Anyone know anymore about this historical context?
Interstates are for military use, they can close them any time they like and there isn’t thing one we can do about it. Highways are farm to market roads and are for ag equipment and truckers have legal priority over the rest of us, and if the states decide to enforce this, there isn’t thing one you can do about it. Food is the first priority. There are stretches of highways throughout the Midwest that have a legal designation for landing aircraft usually in an emergency. You often recognize these roads by how flat they are, they are kept up better than other sections of the same highway and are typically a foot or so wider. What you will also notice is the absence of power lines right next to the highway.

There is a stretch of highway that I know of that’s nice enough to land a 767 on, and no, I’m not going to tell you where it’s located, However, I’m guessing one could also land a rather large military aircraft on that same stretch of road.
 
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Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
C-146A Wolfhound > U.S. Air Force > Fact Sheet Display (af.mil)

C-146A Wolfhound
Published March 17, 2021

C-146A Wolfhounds sit on the flightline at Duke Field, Fla., Oct. 30, 2019. Air commandos from the Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing work alongside active-duty members and contractors to ensure the C-146As are able to execute missions in austere environments around the globe on short notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

PHOTO DETAILS / DOWNLOAD HI-RES 1 of 1
C-146A Wolfhounds sit on the flightline at Duke Field, Fla., Oct. 30, 2019. Air commandos from the Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing work alongside active-duty members and contractors to ensure the C-146As are able to execute missions in austere environments around the globe on short notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

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Mission
The C-146A Wolfhound’s primary mission is to provide U.S. Special Operations Command flexible and responsive operational movement of small teams and cargo in support of Theater Special Operations Commands. Airlift missions are conducted by Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews to prepared and semi-prepared airfields around the world.

Features
The C-146A is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft equipped with a configurable cabin capable of various passenger and cargo combinations, as well as casualty evacuation missions. The aircraft can carry a maximum of 27 passengers, 6,000 pounds of cargo, or up to four litter patients.

Background
The C-146A is the military version of the Dornier 328 turboprop commuter airliner modified to permit cargo and personnel transport missions. The aircraft has been continuously deployed since October 2011 and currently supports overseas contingency operations across four geographic combatant commands.

General Characteristics
Primary function:
Flexible, rapid, intra-theater mobility for special operations forces
Builder: Dornier
Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney PW119C turboprop engines
Thrust: 2,282 max takeoff shaft horsepower per engine
Wingspan: 68 feet 10 inches (20.98 meters)
Length: 69 feet 10 inches (21.29 meters)
Height: 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 meters)
Speed: 270 knots (310 mph or 500 km/h)
Range: Approximately 1,500 nautical miles with 2,000 pounds of cargo
Ceiling: 31,000 feet
Maximum takeoff weight: 30,843 pounds
Armament: N/A
Crew: two pilots and one loadmaster
Unit cost: $17.6 million
Inventory: Active Duty, 20; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0

(Current as of March 2021)
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
The old discussion referenced the large aircraft, such as bombers, being too heavy for the depth of the concrete used during road construction. In my searches, I never found in any of my hundreds of historical manuals and documents anything to back this question up. Alfaman, think you could dig up anything?
It’s certain sections of highway and interstate that are built to handle aircraft and tanks, not the entire road.
 

vestige

TB Fanatic
There was discussion here YEARS ago, about the design of the interstates including some use as landing strips for various .mil aircraft. This type of plan has been going on for decades outside of the US.

Anyone know anymore about this historical context?
The interstate highway system here was conceived for this very purpose along with other military use and commerce.

I worked for Kentucky DOT for 7 years and was involved in some interstate work related to .mil potential usage.

This is the first time in my life I have known of use of interstate highways for this purpose in the U.S. Planned but never practiced to my knowledge.

While overseas I saw it as common practice in France but did not observe it in other countries.

Some stretches of interstates have been "contaminated" by powerline crossings although there is likely a plane to "eliminate" those if necessary.

I just informed my wife (USAF veteran) of this thread and told her I suspect something is up.
 

Publius

TB Fanatic
As a few was pointing out yes our interstate road system was designed with landing aircraft on them. We also have a number of airports around the country that can also accommodate most military aircraft.
There are two on the east end of Long Island N.Y. that can handle anything the military has!
One is in Calverton thats the old Grumman's aircraft plant with a two mile long runway just a few miles west of Riverhead and another one south of Riverhead in Westhampton and it's the old Bomar missile base it has a three mile long runway. There is interesting history with the Westhampton Air Base.
 

SurvivalRing

Rich Fleetwood - Founder
It’s certain sections of highway and interstate that are built to handle aircraft and tanks, not the entire road.
Yes, I know. For SAC, it was planned for them to return after dropping nukes all across Russia and it’s allies, and when done, landing where they could, to refuel and reload, and assumed that most, if not all, SAC bases would be nuked, except for some civilian airports, as mentioned above.

If, however, they weren't going to reload, they would find any place they could to land, without concern for getting back into the air. Therefore, it can be assumed that straight parts of interstates would work.

Fighters need a lot less concrete to support them for war efforts.
 
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night driver

ESFP adrift in INTJ sea
If they can land AND LAUNCH a C-5A at Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) they can drop almost anything there.

staticmap (450×400) (maps.googleapis.com)

OIP.GrsJjHHYHkTPhwsoc9WhBQAAAA (387×594) (bing.com)

And KCGF cuy Cty Airport

05027AD (flightaware.com)



Unfortunately the maps are links. top is BKL (KBKL- Burke Lakefront with a 6100 foot runway)
Lower is CGF (KCGH Cuy Cty Airport with a 5600 foot runway)


Hopkins (CLE) is MUCH bigger. And yes I used to check both of the little ones for dispersal back before TB2K during the Good (BAD) Old days.
 
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Red Baron

Paleo-Conservative
_______________
Cold War exercises in Europe,

At Hahn AB, other wing personnel participated in a NATO exercise. During this exercise, two 496th TFS F-16s conducted the first emergency procedures landings on an autobahn. The aircrews landed, refueled from dispatched trucks and launched from a highway near the German air base at Ahlhorn.

The wing also prepared for a large-scale deployment to several air bases due to programmed runway repairs at Hahn AB. Aircraft and crews, maintenance specialists and support personnel deployed to Ramstein and Spangdahlem ABs and to West Germany's Pferdsfel AB from April to June 1984.

German Wikipedia Link: Autobahn Notlandeplatz - Motorway Emergency Airfield
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahn...

Runtime 1:28

Planes Landing On Highway Airfield

View: https://youtu.be/Qx7Meo7w-pY
 
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