ST. GEORGE — Did your house unexpectedly shake and rattle Monday night? You’re not alone. Washington County residents from Ivins to Little Valley reported loud booms and rattling overhead while in their houses around 9 p.m. Monday.
According to a press release from Nellis Air Force Base, the 414th Combat Training Squadron will be conducting Red Flag 21-1, a series of tactical exercises, through Feb. 12. Residents of Southern Utah and southern Nevada may notice increased noise from military aircraft during this time.
St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News that the department is occasionally contacted by concerned residents reporting booming and rattling during Red Flag drills, which typically occur multiple times each year. There is no need to call 911 or non-emergency dispatch in regards to the noise, she said.
“Make yourself familiar with the type of sound and the time of day that it’s happening so that when you hear it on multiple occasions, you can understand that that’s what it’s from,” she said. “I think it’s important to remember how crucial that training is and that we all need to be understanding about it.”
Dispatchers at the St. George 911 Communications Center have been notified about Red Flag exercises in advance and are prepared to inform concerned callers about the likely source of the noise.
Red Flag training gives aircrew an opportunity to experience realistic combat-like situations in a controlled environment to increase their ability to complete missions and safely return home, the press release stated. It also prepares maintenance personnel, ground controllers, space and cyber operators to support those missions within the same tactical environment.
More than 80 aircraft are scheduled to depart from Nellis Air Force Base twice a day and may remain in the air for up to five hours during Red Flag 21-1. There may be night launches as well to allow air crews to train for nighttime combat operations, according to the press release.
Red Flag exercises are organized at Nellis Air Force Base and hosted north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range. For more information about Red Flag, contact the Nellis Air Force Base Public Affairs Office at 702-652-2719 or by email.
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