Expect to see plenty of military aircraft overhead the next 10 days as Volk Field hosts its annual Norther Lightning Counterland training exercises.

VOLK FIELD — Expect to see plenty of military aircraft overhead the next 10 days as Volk Field hosts its annual Norther Lightning Counterland training exercises.

Flights will take place over multiple counties, including Outagamie and Brown, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Aug. 7-18, 2023.

As part of the exercise, the Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center is hosting multiple active-duty Air Force, National Guard, Marine and Navy units as part of the exercise.

Northern Lightning is one of seven Air National Guard joint accredited exercises held at a Combat Readiness Training Center, according to a news release.

According to Col. Matthew Eakins, commander of Volk Field, the two-week long exercise will increase military readiness by providing participating units a tactical level, joint training environment emphasizing user-defined objectives.

“The goal of the exercise is to provide tailored, cost effective, and realistic combat training for participating units in a joint and multinational environment.” Eakins said in the news release. “The specific exercise scenario focuses on opposed air interdiction against a highly integrated air defense network composed of relevant surface-to-air and air-to-air threats.”

More than 1,000 participants and 60 aircraft, representing a broad range of military assets, are participating in the exercise.

There are Air Force, National Guard, and Marine assets participating from units based in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Additionally, international partners will be on site to observe portions of the exercise.

Northern Lightning emphasizes air interdiction and fourth- and fifth-generation fighter integration, while focusing specifically on unit aircrew training objectives to prepare participating units for both their state and federal missions.

Volk Field is one of four combat readiness training centers in the country. It specializes in counter land operations and can blend live and synthetic training domains. It has a 9,000-foot military-use only runway able to accommodate most military aircraft, and an airspace training corridor 55 miles by 200 miles up to 50,000 feet. It is well-equipped and situated to meet most aircrew training needs.

The general public can expect to see an increase in aircraft activity in and around the Camp Douglas area Aug. 7-18.

Those living in the following counties can anticipate increased flight activity in the airspace from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. from Aug. 7-18 as well: 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. Residents with noise complaints related to Northern Lightning are asked to call 608-427-1260.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.