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Nellis Air Force Base - A Hive of Activity

Nellis Air Force Base, just north of Las Vegas is one of the biggest and noisiest bases in the United States Air Force. Alan Kenny was there to photograph the busy base in action.


F-15C 78-0515 'Blue 15' of the 65th Aggressor Squadron departs in typical style.

There is an almost constant buzz and hum at Nellis Air Force Base. It is home to some of the deadliest fighter jets in the world and boasts aircraft like the F-15C & F-15E, F-22A, F-16C, A-10 and F-35 in its inventory. Red and Green Flags are held at the base a few times a year and the base is very busy when the exercises are on.

Four F-15Cs of the 65th Aggressor Squadron sit in the morning sun awaiting their pilots and ground crews.

F-15E Strike Eagles from 17th Weapons Squadron are prepared for the afternoon mission.

F-16s from the 157th Fighter Squadron 'Swamp Foxes' with the South Carolina Air National Guard await their pilots before the afternoon mission.

Pilots of two F-16CJs communicate to each other as they wait for arriving A-10s to land.

Three F-16s from the South Carolina Air National Guard await their turn to take off. The SC ANG were at Nellis Air Force Base for Green Flag and continued to work with the Weapons School when the Flag finished.

Thunderbird 2 comes into land after a practice demonstration.

Awaiting their turn for take off are three F-16s from the 157th Fighter Squadron, two EA-18G Growlers from VAQ-135 and two F-15E Strike Eagles from the 17th Weapons Squadron.

A-10 80/0185 'WA' from the 66th Weapons Squadron comes in to land on runway 03R.

Four Swamp Foxes sit in the shimmering heat haze created from the F110-GE-100 exhaust and Nevada afternoon sun.

The Black Ravens of VAQ-135 based at NAS Whibdey Island brought their EA-18G Growlers to Nellis AFB to train with the Weapons School.

A-10 78-0709 from 66 WPS 'WA' comes into land loaded with dummy AGM-65 Maverick missiles and rocket pods.

F-16 90-0721 from the 16th Weapons Squadron heads off into the desert armed with dummy AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9M Sidewinder, GBU-58 Enhanced Paveway II, AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Attack Pod, AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod and a HTS (HARM Targeting System) pod.

The pilot of this F-15E Strike Eagle slows the jet down by deploying the massive air brake. This aircraft is from the 17th Weapons Squadron based at Nellis AFB.

The first four South Carolina ANG F-16s return from their mission.

The 157th FS is one of the few Air National Guard squadrons to operate the HARM Targeting System (HTS)-equipped F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon, also known as the F-16CJ.

F-16D 91-0478 was the only twinstick flying that day. It belongs to the 16th Weapons Squadron based at Nellis AFB.

Four EA-18G Growlers from VAQ-135 were present at Nellis AFB, however only three went up on a mission.

The leadship of the three EA-18G Growlers '520' comes into land after a jamming mission.

The arctic splinter scheme applied to F-15C 78-0494 has to be one of the most eye catching aggressor schemes.

F-15C 78-0480 slams on the brakes after a mission. This aircraft is from the 65th Aggressor Squadron.

The EC-130H Compass Call 73-0587 based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, was the first out and last in while training with the Weapons School.

Image Gallery

Filed Under Military Aviation Features, Airshows Features.


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TALON2 said on the 31-May-2014 at 19:03

Living in St George, UT and visiting Nellis yearly, a great set of pictures as we cant visit during Red or Green flag.

William Greenough said on the 29-Oct-2015 at 20:32

How do I find out about training exercises at Calif and NV Air Force bases? I love those planes and the desert. When is the best time to see them?


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