August 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Air National Guard reports the Guard and various active duty units will participate in a joint training event, Operation Badger Denial, on selected days in August though December 2011 over parts of western and northwest Iowa. The exercise will begin on August 9th. 

Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood says Iowa’s participation in overseas contingency operations requires joint reconnaissance and combat support missions. Those types of missions, and certain Close Air Support operations, require lower altitudes not available in current Iowa Military Operating Areas.

To experience realistic training and in order to support multi-faceted overseas combat missions, the joint exercise will include the establishment of a temporary operating area situated in northwest Iowa, where military aircraft will operate at an altitude of approximately 8,000 feet and may extend as low as 2,500 feet.

A number of urban ground teams will commence the exercise in and around the Military Operating area, including in the rural and urban areas. Iowa Air Guard F-16 fighters will fly over northwest Iowa as part of their routine training, and, a KC-135 tanker will refuel the fighters at an altitude above 20,000 feet. At no time will anything be dropped from the aircraft, and no hazardous activities will take place.

The temporary military operating area will extend west from Carroll to Charter Oak, then north to Sanborn, then east to Whittemore (wit-uh-more), then southwest to Carroll. Given the temporary operating altitudes during Badger Denial, aircraft may be visible at lower altitudes and audible as late as 9 p.m. throughout the temporary operating area.