Oregon Air National Guard conducting air combat training

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

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The Oregon Air National Guard will conduct air combat training through April 6 with personnel from an Arizona Air Force base.

Flights will launch daily after 8 a.m. and will be finished before 4 p.m., according to a Oregon Military Department release.

The Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing is hosting 10 F-16s and more than 125 maintenance personnel from Luke Air Force Base's 21st Fighter Squadron for the training. Many of the pilots are Taiwanese Air Force pilots who train in the United States, the release said.

The training provides realistic combat training and opportunities to use aerial tactics that may be used against potential adversaries.

"The synergy created by training alongside dissimilar aircraft provides much more complex scenarios than we can receive flying alongside other F-15s," Col. Jeff Hwang, 142nd Fighter Wing Operations Group Commander, said in the release.

The 142nd Fighter Wing defends the skies over the Pacific Northwesat and has flown more than 37,000 hours since Sept. 11, 2001.